Kentucky Court of Justice
Madison Central High School/Kentucky Tech team is 2010 state mock trial tournament champion
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- After going five rounds with the competition in the case of United States of America v. Cassius M. Clay, Madison Central High School/Kentucky Tech from Richmond earned the championship title Sunday, March 7, in the 2010 Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament in Louisville. The championship round took place at the Muhammad Ali Center. This is the third time that a team from Madison Central/Kentucky Tech has won the championship, also winning it in 2009 and 2001. The title qualifies the team to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Tournament from May 6-9 in Philadelphia.
The duPont Manual High School Red Team from Louisville was the runner-up in the tournament. Madison Central/Kentucky Tech and duPont competed for the state title after knocking out the other 28 high school teams in the three-day tournament. All of the teams participated in four rounds of competition Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, at the Jefferson County Judicial Center. The tournament culminated with the final round between the two championship contenders at the Muhammad Ali Center. Louisville is the birthplace of Ali, who was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in 1942.
Schools with teams that ranked in the top 10 in the tournament were, by rank:
1. Madison Central High School/Kentucky Tech, Richmond
2. duPont Manual High School Red Team, Louisville
3. Highlands High School White Team, Fort Thomas
4. Louisville Collegiate School, Louisville
5. Highlands High School Blue Team, Fort Thomas
6. Model Laboratory School, Richmond
7. Newport Central Catholic High School, Newport
8. Montgomery County High School Blue Team, Mount Sterling
9. Montgomery County High School Red Team, Mount Sterling
10. Eastern High School White Team, Louisville
Other schools with teams that competed in the tournament were Assumption High School, Central High School, duPont Manual High School (White Team), Eastern High School (Blue Team), Mercy Academy High School and Saint Xavier High School, all in Louisville; Boyd County High School and Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland; Marshall County High School in Benton; The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky in Bowling Green; Webster County High School in Dixon; St. Henry District High School in Erlanger; Fulton Independent High School in Fulton; Breckinridge County High School in Harned; Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington; Monticello High School in Monticello; Paducah Tilghman High School and St. Mary High School in Paducah; Madison Southern High School in Richmond; and Russell Independent High School in Russell.
Approximately 400 students participated or attended the tournament as team members.
Each team selects members of its team to receive the Best Attorney Award and Best Witness Award. The winning Madison Central/Kentucky Tech team elected Sydney Morton as its best attorney and Josh Barrett as its best witness.
The team’s teacher/coach is Vicki Rollins and its attorney/coaches are Robin Lakes and Kristin Clouse. Circuit Court Judge William G. Clouse, who serves Clark and Madison counties, also helps coach the team.
The mock trial tournament is one of the many law-related education programs offered for youth through the Kentucky Court of Justice. As the operational arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice, the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort administers the programs.
“It’s been an honor to collaborate with the Muhammad Ali Center for this year’s Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament,” said Patrick Yewell, executive officer of the AOC Department of Family and Juvenile Services. “The Kentucky Court of Justice is excited about the exceptional opportunity that the students had to learn about the facts of the historic Ali case and to present the trial of United States of America v. Cassius M. Clay. The original case set precedent for civil rights in Kentucky. Preparation for this tournament has also provided an educational opportunity for parents, coaches, judges and staff. I express my gratitude to Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., AOC Director Laurie Dudgeon and the justices, judges, attorneys, law students and volunteers who make this tournament possible each year.”
Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson of the Supreme Court of Kentucky, Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Denise G. Clayton and Greg Roberts, president and CEO for the Muhammad Ali Center, opened the tournament with remarks Friday at the judicial center. This was the second consecutive year that the state tournament was hosted in Louisville.
During the tournament, teams acted as the prosecution and defense in the trial of United States of America v. Cassius M. Clay. In 1967, heavyweight boxing legend Ali – then named Cassius M. Clay – was charged with knowingly and willfully refusing to report for and submit to induction into the U.S. Armed Forces (draft dodging), a felony punishable by five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. This was during the Vietnam War. Prior to this, Ali had applied for conscientious objector status but was turned down. He was convicted on the charges and appealed his conviction all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. On June 28, 1971, the court unanimously reversed the original decision. Ali’s request for conscientious objector status was honored and all charges against him were dropped.
Teams argued the case with a different team in every round. Each team was assigned the role of the prosecution and the defense at least once. Team members also portrayed other individuals in the case, including the defendant and other witnesses. Judges scored the teams in each round and all of those scores were totaled to determine the winner. The teams learned their scores after the last round of trials before the championship round.
The competition was filmed by Bill Siegel, a producer with the Kindling Group, for an upcoming documentary about Ali’s exile years – the three-and-a-half years during which Ali was not allowed to box because of court appeals and trials. Siegel followed and filmed some of the mock trial teams as they prepared for the tournament. He has been following Central High School and Eastern High School in Louisville, Madison Central High School/Kentucky Tech in Richmond and Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling.
Siegel’s film, Muhammad Ali: The Struggle to be Free, will feature the tumultuous time in our country during the Vietnam War and show the relevance of the Ali case for new generations.
Court of Appeals judges, circuit and district judges, attorneys and law students judged the competition. The top 10 teams, including the two finalists, were announced late Saturday afternoon at the Muhammad Ali Center.
Among the tournament judges were Court of Appeals Judges Clayton and Janet L. Stumbo. Judge Clayton represents the 4th Appellate District, Division 2, which is comprised of Jefferson County. Judge Stumbo represents the 7th Appellate District, which is comprised of Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rowan and Wolfe counties.
Other judges who participated in the tournament as judges were, by county:
Anderson, Shelby and Spencer counties
Circuit Court Judge Charles R. Hickman
District Court Judge Linda S. Armstrong
District Court Judge Donna G. Dutton
Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton and Hickman counties
Circuit Court Judge Timothy A. Langford
Bourbon, Scott and Woodford counties
Family Court Judge Tamra Gormley
Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Isaacs
District Court Judge Vanessa M. Dickson
District Court Judge Mary Jane Phelps
Senior Judge Marc I. Rosen
Boyle and Mercer counties
Family Court Judge Bruce Petrie
Breckinridge, Grayson and Meade counties
Circuit Court Judge Bruce T. Butler
Senior Judge W. Thomas Lively
District Court Judge Jennifer E. Porter
Calloway and Marshall counties
Circuit Court Judge Dennis R. Foust
District Court Judge Karen A. Thomas
Clark and Madison counties
District Court Judge Earl-Ray Neal
District Court Judge Lisa P. Jones
Family Court Judge Lucinda Masterton
Senior Judge O. Reed Rhorer
Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mark Easton
Family Court Judge Paula Sherlock
Circuit Court Judge Irv Maze
Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry
District Court Judge Erica Lee Williams
Circuit Court Judge René Williams, who serves Crittenden, Webster and Union counties, assists with coaching the Webster County High School team in Dixon.
The 2010 Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament was hosted by the Kentucky Court of Justice with support from the Muhammad Ali Center. The Muhammad Ali Center teamed up with State Farm Insurance, the Kentucky Bar Association, Yum! Brands, the University of Louisville Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, and Paul A. Casi II, PSC, to sponsor special tournament events.
Special events included a dialogue between student teams and community leaders; free tours of the Muhammad Ali Center for the students, coaches, parents and judges involved with the competition; and a reception for the winning and runner-up teams and all of the judges.
Since its inception in 1983, more than 12,000 students, 1,500 judges and 3,000 attorneys have taken part in the Kentucky Mock Trial Program.
The AOC supports the activities of 3,700 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks, and executes the Judicial Branch budget.