Columbia High School 2018 Rensselaer County Mock Trial Champions with County Court Judge Jennifer Sober
For information on the New York State Bar Association Mock Trial Tournament please visit: http://www.nysba.org/NYSMockTrial
2019 High School Mock Trial Tournament
The New York State Bar Association’s Law, Youth & Citizenship Program and the New York Bar Foundation, in conjunction with the Rensselaer County Bar Association, are pleased to announce that New York’s Annual High School Mock Trial Tournament for senior high school students (grades 9-12) will be held this winter. General coordination of the activities is being provided by the New York State Bar Association’s Law, Youth & Citizenship Program.
IMPORTANT DATES (discussed further below):
– Wednesday, November 21, 2018: deadline for submitting entry form
– Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at 4:00 PM at the Rensselaer County Courthouse: orientation meeting for teacher/coaches
SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY RESPONSIBILITIES
Senior high schools in Rensselaer County wishing to participate may enter a single team of at least eight students, headed by one or more teacher-coaches. Other students can participate by serving as back-ups to members of the school’s first team. Junior high school students (grade 8 or below) will not be eligible for this year’s tournament. We recommend that a team have several additional students to act as substitutes, when the need arises.
Selection of team members (three attorneys, three witnesses), two back-ups, and the coach/coaches are the responsibility of the school, as is transportation to and from the contest sites. The Tournament is open to all students currently in grades 9-12. If a school chooses to limit student participation for reasons of supervision or safety, this should be accomplished through an equitable try-out system, not through disallowing participation by one or more entire grades. Each team entered in the Mock Trial Competition is expected to conduct several practice sessions prior to the contest.
The 2019 New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament will be a two-round elimination tournament (each team will compete in at least two rounds, once as plaintiff/prosecution and once as defendant). Lawyers or trial judges will preside over the enactments in each contest round. Conducting a statewide tournament will require beginning the local competitions in early February so that the regional tournaments can be completed by no later than Tuesday, April 30, 2019 (Earlier dates are preferred since the State Finals will be held a week earlier this year in Albany on May 19-21, 2019).
BAR ASSOCIATION ASSISTANCE
If a team does not have an attorney advisor, the Rensselaer County Bar Association will attempt to secure one for any participating team. He or she will be available to assist the teacher-coaches as well as members of the team preparing for their trial enactments.
On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at 4:00 PM, an orientation session for teacher-coaches will be held at the Rensselaer County Courthouse in the first-floor rotunda. ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. This meeting will feature a briefing on changes, if any, in contest rules and procedures, a blind drawing to determine sides in the first two trials, and distribution of tournament materials. Please bring with you your school’s vacation schedule, as we will need that to schedule the trials.
MOCK TRIAL MATERIALS
Each school entering the tournament will receive materials, as follows:
- A statement of the facts of the case
- A set of witness statements
- A discussion of rules of evidence and legal sources
- A description of rules, policies & procedures governing the Tournament
- A list of participating teams and teacher-coaches
- A calendar of Tournament trial dates
- An agreement to abide by the Tournament Rules, for your signature
The materials specified in items 1 through 4 and additional supporting information will be made available at www.nysba.org/mtcase once the case is released.
Members of each participating team will receive a commemorative certificate acknowledging their participation in the 2019 Tournament. In addition, a special certificate will also be awarded to each winning team member for the county and regional tournaments. In recognition of outstanding achievement, certificates will be presented in Albany to all schools that compete in the Finals of the 2018 New York Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament. The first and second place teams in the final round will each receive a plaque acknowledging their achievement and placement in the State Finals, which will be sent to their respective schools.
An entry form is attached which must be received by us by no later than Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
Please submit your entry form by email or fax to Jennifer Shatz. Contact information is below.
We look forward to your schoolâs participation in this outstanding educational program.
Very truly yours,
Jessica Mocerine and Jennifer Shatz
Rensselaer County Mock Trial Tournament
Jennifer Shatz, Esq.
Principal Law Clerk to
Hon. Patrick J. McGrath
Supreme Court Justice
80 Second Street
Troy, New York 12180