La Salle University Students Organize High School Mock Trial Competition
January 31, 2011
High school students from 24 schools across Pennsylvania participated in the first-ever La Salle University Blue and Gold mock high school trial competition recently.
The program was organized by several La Salle students who belong to La Salle’s Mock Trial Team.
“I was extremely pleased with the outcome of the tournament as were the representatives from the Pennsylvania Bar Association who observed portions of the tournament. Everyone seems to be looking forward to doing it again next year,” said Steve Patton, one of the student organizers, who is also president for La Salle’s College Mock Trial team.
Other La Salle University students who organized and helped run the tournament included John Prendergast, T.J. McCarrick, Lauren DeAngelis, Megan Cronce, Erin Carroll, Brian McBeth, Rosmary Carberry, Theresa Glinski, Sam Pickard, and Tom Shattuck.
St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia was named champion of the tournament after winning a three-round playoff system. Central High School in Blair County, Pa., was second, and Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pa., finished third.
The high school students argued their cases before panels of local attorneys and judges (many of whom are La Salle alums) who volunteered their time, including Dr. Michael Dillon, chair of the political science department at La Salle. Some volunteers participated in morning activities and then returned for the final round of competition in the evening.
Many high school participants were accompanied by family members and coaches. More than 300 people attended the all-day event.
The student teams competed against each other, taking one round as a defendant in a case and a second as a plaintiff.
Eight plaques for individual top performances for the student attorneys and student witnesses were presented, in addition to trophies to the three top teams.
“I was totally impressed by the organization, poise, forethought, and professionalism that was exhibited by the entire La Salle Mock Trial Association Team,” said Dillon. He noted the students oversaw planning the tournament with diverse tasks such as preparing statewide invitations, to the posting of signs and name tags for La Salle tournament staff, to the training sessions for judges, to having a luncheon for all the participants and their guests.
“The La Salle students should all be proud of what they accomplished,” said Dillon.