Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
Eco-terrorism on trial: Teens take over courts for YMCA Mock Trial state championship this weekend in OlympiaMarch 25, 2010
Hundreds of Washington state high school students will battle in Olympia on March 26-28, 2010 over a complex arson case involving a band of terrorists that targeted the University of Washington horticulture building. It contained research that might have solved the world’s wood supply problems, until eco-terrorists burned down the building -- or did they?
The YMCA Mock Trial State Championship competition will pit 20 high school teams from around the state against each other in the fictitious trial. The students engage in four rounds of competition, serving alternately as prosecution and defense in the mock trials, before the top two teams compete for the championship on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The final competition will be televised by TVW.
Judges and attorneys from across the state volunteer throughout the weekend to preside over the trials and rate the teams. Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen will preside over the championship round on Sunday in the Thurston County Superior Court.
The competition begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW in Olympia. Teams will be competing in courtrooms throughout the courthouse buildings. On Saturday, competition continues with rounds beginning at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The state champion team will compete in the 2010 National Mock Trial Championship in Philadelphia in May.
Teams competing in the state championship competition include:
Mock Trial is part of the YMCA Youth & Government Program, which works to help young people experience democracy in action through both Mock Trial and the YMCA Youth Legislature program. The Youth & Government program celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2007, and the Mock Trial program celebrated its 20th anniversary the same year.
Also sponsoring the event are the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Washington State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, TVW, the Washington Judges Foundation and the District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association.
Mock Trial allows students to participate in a true-to-life courtroom drama. High school teams of attorneys and witnesses prepare the case for trial and compete at district levels before real judges in actual courtrooms. “Juries" of attorneys rate the teams for their presentation, while the presiding judges rule on the motions, objections, and ultimately the merits. Participants develop critical thinking and analytical skills, learn the art of oral advocacy, and gain a respect for the role of law and the judiciary.
CONTACT: Janelle Nesbit, YMCA Youth & Government Director, 360-534-0155 (office) or 253-370-1757 (cell); Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis, Mock Trial State Chairman, (360) 397-2226.
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