Kentucky Court of Justice
29 high school teams to compete for state title at Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament March 18-20 in Louisville
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Twenty-nine high school mock trial teams from across the commonwealth will converge in Louisville this Friday to compete for the state title in the Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament. The tournament will take place Friday-Sunday, March 18-20, at the Jefferson County Judicial Center, 700 W. Jefferson St. The media and public are invited to observe the competition.
The winning team will compete in the National High School Mock Trial Tournament that will take place May 5-7 in Phoenix.
Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson of the Supreme Court of Kentucky and Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Denise G. Clayton will open the state competition with remarks at 11:45 a.m. EDT Friday at the judicial center. Justice Abramson and Judge Clayton represent Jefferson County on their respective courts.
Five Louisville schools have teams scheduled to compete in the tournament. They are Central High School, duPont Manual High School, Eastern High School (two teams), Louisville Collegiate School and Saint Xavier High School.
Three of the competing high school teams are from Richmond – Madison Central High School/Kentucky Tech – Madison County Area Technology Center, Madison Southern High School and Model Laboratory High School. Clark Moores Middle School in Richmond, the 2011 state middle school mock trial champion, will participate to make an even 30 teams for the competition. Middle schools are not eligible for the national competition.
Teams from three Northern Kentucky schools will participate in the competition – Highlands High School in Fort Thomas (two teams), Newport Central Catholic High School in Newport and Larry A. Ryle High School in Union.
Ashland and Paducah each have two schools with tournament teams – Boyd County High School and Paul G. Blazer High School from Ashland and Paducah Tilghman High School (two teams) and St. Mary High School from Paducah.
The other teams scheduled to compete are from Anderson County High School in Lawrenceburg, Breckinridge County High School in Harned (two teams), Bullitt East High School in Mount Washington, Carlisle County High School in Bardwell, George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Hickman County High School in Clinton, Marshall County High School in Benton, Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling (two teams) and Webster County High School in Dixon.
Teams will act as the prosecution and defense in the Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Sam(antha) Oddington trial for the competition. In the fictional case, grandmother/grandfather Sam(antha) Oddington is being tried for reckless homicide in the death of his/her granddaughter. The defendant is written as Sam(antha) so the role can be played by a male or female. Chief District Judge Earl-Ray Neal, who serves Clark and Madison counties, wrote the competition case.
Teams will participate in at least four rounds of competition, arguing the case with a different team in every round. Each team will be assigned the role of the prosecution and the defense at least once. Team members also portray other individuals in the case, such as witnesses.
Judges score the teams in each round and the scores are totaled to determine the winner. The teams learn their scores after the last round of trials. Court of Appeals judges, circuit and district judges, attorneys and law students judge the competition.
The top 10 teams will be announced Saturday, when Judge Neal will provide remarks and help present awards. The top two teams will square off in the tournament championship to contend for the state title and the opportunity to compete at the National High School Mock Trial Tournament. The championship round will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday in the Court of Appeals Courtroom at the judicial center.
Madison Central High School/Kentucky Tech – Madison County Area Technology Center in Richmond earned its second consecutive win at the state championship last year and went on to place 15th in the national tournament. Louisville’s duPont Manual High School was the runner-up in the state tournament.
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. It is one of the many law-related education programs the Kentucky Court of Justice offers for youth through the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort.
The AOC is the operations arm for the state court system and supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.