Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
Washington YMCA Mock Trial Team Places in Top Ten at Nationals for the Sixth Straight YearMay 14, 2013
Seattle Prep placed sixth overall at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Indianapolis this past weekend after taking first overall at the Washington State YMCA Mock Trial Championship in March. It was the sixth year in a row that Seattle Prep finished in the top ten nationally.
New Mexico’s Albuquerque Academy won the championship for the second year in a row, beating California in a close final round. Seattle Prep won three trials, but lost to South Carolina in round three.
Senior Chase Robinett earned an Outstanding Witness award for his portrayals of an earnest, befuddled fire investigator for the plaintiff, and an overpaid, hired-gun expert for the defense.
The case, based on a catastrophe in Indianapolis in 1963, involved exploding propane tanks in a theater. In the real event, 74 people died. In the fictitious case, the theater brought a negligence claim against the propane company.
The case was presented to high school champion Mock Trial teams nationwide on April 1, providing students just over a month to hone their rhetorical and acting skills as they studied the laws of comparative fault, the properties of propane gas, and how meth cooks use empty propane tanks to transport corrosive chemicals.
In the trial rounds, Seattle Prep beat Arkansas and Colorado handily in the first two trials, lost to South Carolina, then finished strong with a 3-0 win over Wisconsin.
Seattle Prep holds the longest current Top Ten streak with six (2008 through 2013). Seattle Prep’s highest finish was third in Atlanta in 2009. Over 3000 high schools around the country have mock trial programs.
Seattle Prep benefitted from the support of Washington State’s generous mock trial community as it advanced toward the Indianapolis competition. Teams from Franklin High School and Archbishop Murphy High School worked up the case and scrimmaged, as did four members of the Washington Bar. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart and King County Superior Court Judge William Downing presided over practice rounds.
Seattle Prep’s mock trial program had over 50 students this year, nine of whom comprised the Nationals traveling team. Seniors Matt MacVicar and David Mallick anchored the plaintiff and defense lawyer trios. Seniors Maddie Dimarco and Rachel Chacon also sought damages for the theater. The two other lawyers defending the propane company were sophomores Max Kroeger and Molly McCarthy. Playing witnesses were the all-purpose expert Chase Robinett, as well as Casey Schmidt, Max Kroeger, and Maddie Dimarco. Freshman Elizabeth Shields served as the official timekeeper.
Among the many adults who supported the team in Indianapolis were coaches Andy McCarthy, Jen Freeman, Renee Willette, Taylor Larson (Prep ’07), and Joe Genster. Prep alums Erica Strathern (’08) and John Bailey (’04) spent hours at the hotel coaching, listening, and running diabolical cross-examinations to get the team ready. Program alums Megan Coluccio (’04) and Tara O’Hanlon (’05), both now members of the Washington Bar, helped the team in Seattle and made the trip in spirit. About two dozen parents, grandparents, and other supporters made up the rest of the Washington entourage.
For further information about the team, contact Andy McCarthy email@example.com, or Kent Hickey firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the program statewide, see http://youthandgovernment.org/mock_trial0.aspx; for information about the national high school mock trial, see http://inmocktrial.org/2013Nationals.aspx and http://www.nationalmocktrial.org/index.cfm.
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