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Middle School Mock Trial Finalists Determined

Middle School Mock Trial Finalists Determined

The finalists in the North Carolina Bar Association’s 2014-15 Justice Iredell Middle School Mock Trial Tournament were determined Friday, Dec. 12, at 10 locations across North Carolina.

The regional champions are Wayne School of Engineering of Goldsboro (Eastern Region), Lakewood Montessori of Durham (Triangle/Sandhills Region), Millennium Charter Academy of Mount Airy (Northern Piedmont Region), Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy of Charlotte (Southern Piedmont Region) and Classical Scholars of Hendersonville (Western Region).

The state finals will take place Jan. 16 at the Mecklenburg County Civil Court Building Auxiliary Courthouse in Charlotte. The Chatham County Justice Center in Pittsboro will host the Battle of the Carolinas on Feb. 6-7 between the top four teams from North and South Carolina.

The Justice Iredell Middle School Mock Trial Tournament is an educational team program where middle school students have the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of civil/criminal law and courtroom procedures. Students representing attorneys and witnesses for both sides of a fictional case role play that case being tried in court.

A team led by a teacher is ideally composed of between six and 16 students, but can have more students on each team as alternates. The students are guided in their case through support of their teacher and attorney coaches. The program teaches the legal process and trial procedure. Hundreds of students participate each year.

The competition is orchestrated by the NCBA Foundation’s Law-Related Education Department and its Law-Related Education Advisory Committee.

Forty-two teams and 90 volunteers were involved in the regional competition, which took place at courthouses in Haywood, McDowell, Ashe, Surry, Mecklenburg, Davidson, Chatham, Durham, New Hanover and Halifax counties.

Competing teams hailed from Alleghany, Buncombe, Catawba, Durham, Guilford, Haywood, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Pasquotank, Surry, Swain, Union, Wake, Watauga and Wayne.

“I'm sure you've been getting accolades for your efforts and I just wanted to add mine,” stated attorney volunteer Bruce Plent of Durham. “The whole event was so well organized, professional and meaningful. I know how difficult it can be to round up so many people to achieve the results desired, and in this case, achieved.”

“I wanted to let you know that my kids had a great time and enjoyed the competition,” added volunteer Chris Nichols. “We had half a dozen parents participate and they were all impressed by the whole affair. Thanks so much for all the efforts you put into making this happen for the kids. It's an experience they will never forget.”