Local students participate in mock trial competition
March 16. 2013 9:23PM
In addition to winning the district competition, three team members received awards based on their performance in the courtroom. Recipients of the Best Witness Awards are senior Spencer Norris, Mountain Top, and junior Salvadore Diaz of Avoca. Recipient of the Best Advocate (Attorney) Awards is senior Leah Goldberg, Wilkes-Barre, who received the award for her performance during both evenings of competition.
The team will now continue on to regional competition, to be held the week of Feb. 25-March 1 in the Federal Courthouse in Scranton.
The competition, sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, provides high school students with a firsthand experience of the American judicial system.
Mock trial teams argue a hypothetical case before a judge and are evaluated based on their presentation, opening and closing arguments, direct and cross examination, poise and articulation, control of facts, and knowledge of Mock Trial rules of law and exceptions. Competitions involve two opposing high school teams whoapply real-life statutes and case law to fictitious situations in a simulated trial setting.
In this year‚??s fictitious case, titled ‚??Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Tatum Zillias,‚?Ě a prominent real estate developer in Philadelphia is on trial on charges of third degree murder. The developer‚??s crane, in operation during a period of high winds from a passing hurricane, crashed while lifting heavy roofing panels to the top of a major urban renewal project. Two people died as a result of the crash, and the commonwealth has brought murder charges against Zillias, asserting the defendant had willfully disregarded the health and safety of the workers and other people at the job site.
Members of the Sem Mock Trial team are seen after recently winning the Benjamin Franklin Invitational Mock Trial Competition, held at the University of Pennsylvania. Seen, first row standing from left, are Sem 2003 alumna Nicole M. Santo, Esq., Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn P.C., attorney advisor; freshman Sara Edgar, Coopersburg; junior Christina Thomas, Drums; senior Alaina Schukraft, Dallas; senior Leah Goldberg, Wilkes-Barre, team co-captain; senior Caroline Reppert, Kingston, team co-captain; junior Alxis Boyle, Canadensis; senior Spencer Norris, Mountain Top; junior Salvadore Diaz, Avoca; Adam Carlisle, teacher coach; Justin Naylor, teacher coach. Second row, from left: junior Connor Scalleat, Wapwallopen; junior Matthew Obeid, Pittston; postgraduate TimothyRozier-Byrd, Millstone, N.J.; junior William Kozar, Clarks Summit; sophomore Zubin Gadhoke, Mountain Top; sophomore Joseph John Simons, IV, Kingston; sophomore Drishti Maniar, Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia; junior Jin Xing, Shenyang, China, P.R.C.; freshman Samarth Desai, Shavertown; sophomore Meera Patel, Laflin; junior Christina Adameck, Hanover Twp.; and freshman Nicole Wert, Mountain Top. Not present for photo: Clancy Boylan, Esq., Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law, P.C., attorney advisor.