Kentucky Court of Justice
Montgomery County High School team is 2011 state mock trial champion
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Montgomery County High School Mock Trial Team (Red Team) from Mount Sterling is the 2011 state mock trial champion after besting 28 other high school teams in the Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament this weekend in Louisville. The title qualifies the team to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Tournament that will take place May 5-7 in Phoenix.
The state tournament took place Friday-Sunday, March 18-20, at the Jefferson County Judicial Center.
The Model Laboratory School Mock Trial Team from Richmond was the runner-up in the competition.
All of the teams participated in four rounds of competition Friday and Saturday. The tournament culminated with the Montgomery County Red Team and the Model Laboratory team vying for the championship title Sunday morning in the Court of Appeals Courtroom in the judicial center.
Schools with teams that ranked in the top 10 in the tournament are, by rank:
1. Montgomery County High School Red Team, Mount Sterling (Winner)
2. Model Laboratory School, Richmond (Runner-up)
3. Saint Xavier High School, Louisville
4. Eastern High School White Team, Louisville
5. Newport Central Catholic High School, Newport
6. Madison Central High School/Kentucky Tech, Richmond
7. duPont Manual High School, Louisville
8. Webster County High School, Dixon
9. Eastern High School Blue Team, Louisville
10. Highlands High School Blue Team, Fort Thomas
Saint Xavier High School and Webster County High School are the only schools with a top 10 team that did not have at least one top 10 team last year. Circuit Court Judge René Williams, who serves Crittenden, Webster and Union counties, assists with coaching the Webster County team.
Other teams that competed in the tournament were from Central High School and Louisville Collegiate School, Louisville; Highlands High School in Fort Thomas (two teams – one listed in top 10) and Larry A. Ryle High School in Union, both in northern Kentucky; Boyd County High School and Paul G. Blazer High School, both in Ashland; Paducah Tilghman High School (two teams) and St. Mary High School, both in Paducah; 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, Madison Southern High School in Richmond, Marshall County High School in Benton and Montgomery County High School in Mount Sterling (Blue Team).
In addition to the three high schools from Richmond with teams in the tournament, Clark Moores Middle School from Richmond participated to make an even 30 teams for the competition. Clark Moores is the 2011 state middle school mock trial champion. Middle schools are not eligible for the national tournament.
Approximately 400 students participated in the tournament.
“It was an honor to witness the 2011 Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament,” said Patrick Yewell, executive officer of the Department of Family and Juvenile Services at the Administrative Office of the Courts. “Students from all over the commonwealth gathered in Louisville and displayed amazing talent and knowledge of the law. Each year, I am awed at the dedication and preparation shown by every student. These students are the best of the best. Congratulations to each participant.
Special thanks go to District Judge Earl-Ray Neal of Madison and Clark counties for writing this year’s case. He has been actively involved in the program for 24 years, first as a student, then as an attorney/coach and now as a volunteer judge. I also want to thank Chief Justice Minton, AOC Director Laurie Dudgeon and the judges, attorneys and law students who helped make this year’s mock trial tournament a success.”
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 AOC in Frankfort administers the programs. 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 Marshall County High School Mock Trial Team from Benton became the first team to receive the new Marc I. Rosen Sportsmanship Award at the tournament. The mock trial teams selected the team to receive the award by voting. The award is named for Senior Judge Marc I. Rosen in honor of his dedication to the Kentucky High School Mock Trial Tournament. Among his contributions, Judge Rosen has served for many years as a tournament judge, including presiding over the final round between the two championship contenders.
“Judge Rosen has volunteered countless hours toward the program, attended multiple national competitions and is always the first to provide support to the program,” Yewell said. “He truly is the heart and soul of Kentucky’s mock trial competition.”
Each tournament team selects members of its team to receive the Best Attorney Award and Best Witness Award. The winning Montgomery County Red Team elected Cole Tipton for the Best Attorney Award and Rachel McGuire for its Best Witness Award. The runner-up team from Model Laboratory School chose Hannah Nnoromele for the Best Attorney Award and Sarah Bucknam to receive the Best Witness Award.
Mock Trial Tournament
During the tournament, teams acted as the prosecution and defense in the trial of Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Sam(antha) Oddington. In the fictional case, grandmother/grandfather Sam(antha) Oddington was 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 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 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. Judges, attorneys and law students judged the competition.
Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Denise G. Clayton, who represents Jefferson County, opened the tournament with remarks Friday at the judicial center and served as a tournament judge. The top 10 teams were announced late Saturday afternoon, with Judge Neal providing closing remarks and helping to present awards.
Other judges who participated in the tournament as judges are:
Anderson, Shelby and Spencer counties
Circuit Court Judge Charles R. Hickman
Family Court Judge John David Myles
District Court Judge Linda S. Armstrong
Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton and Hickman counties
Circuit Court Judge Timothy A. Langford
Bourbon, Scott and Woodford counties
District Court Judge Vanessa M. Dickson
District Court Judge Mary Jane Phelps
Senior Judge Marc I. Rosen
Breckinridge, Grayson and Meade counties
Circuit Court Judge Bruce T. Butler
Senior Judge W. Thomas Lively
Carroll, Grant and Owen counties
District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Chandler
District Court Judge Thomas M. Funk
Clark and Madison counties
Circuit Court Judge William G. Clouse Jr.
District Court Judge Brandy O. Brown
District Court Judge Earl-Ray Neal
District Court Judge Lisa P. Jones
Circuit Court Judge James D. Ishmael Jr.
Family Court Judge Lucinda Masterton
Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Wingate
District Court Judge Chris Olds
Senior Judge O. Reed Rhorer
Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mark Easton
Circuit Court Judge Irv Maze
Family Court Judge Paula Sherlock
Pulaski and Rockcastle counties
Kathryn G. Wood