Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
Life, death, bicycles and insurance: Teens to battle in court for YMCA Mock Trial state championship this weekend in OlympiaMarch 20, 2012
Hundreds of Washington state high school finalists will compete this weekend as attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious civil lawsuit over a denied life insurance claim for a bicyclist who cared little for safety or bicycle laws.
The YMCA Mock Trial State Finals Competition will pit 22 high school teams from around the state against each other March 23 – 25 at the Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia. 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. 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. The competition begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW in Olympia., with teams 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.
Washington Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens will preside over the championship round at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in the Thurston County Superior Court. Supreme Court Justice Charlie Wiggins will speak at the championship breakfast just prior to the final round.
The state champion team will compete in the 2012 YMCA National Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, scheduled for May 3 – 6.
Teams competing in the state finals 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: Sarah Clinton, YMCA Youth & Government Executive Director, (360) 357-3475; or Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis, Mock Trial State Program Chairman, (360) 397-2226.
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