Students gear up for mock trial competition
Seven schools from the Lowcountry region will compete in the S.C. Bar Regional High School Mock Trial Competition on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the North Charleston Municipal Complex located at 2500 City Hall Lane in Charleston.
Participating schools include Beaufort, Berkeley, Edisto, Fort Dorchester, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Summerville and Wando.
Students will present the plaintiff and defendant sides of a fictitious case before a panel of local volunteer judges and lawyers. Additionally, students will fill the roles of defendant, witnesses, bailiff and timekeepers. Each team will be judged on its presentation skills, rather than the legal merits of the case.
This year’s fictitious civil case is Logan Gray vs. JML Properties. Logan Gray, a news anchor and investigative reporter, aired a story about the bedbug infestation experienced while staying at a JML Property, and is subsequently suing the company. JML Properties denies the claim, alleging that Gray planted the bedbugs, and filed a counterclaim stating that the news story was defamatory and resulted in substantial financial losses. For more information about the Mock Trial case or program, visit www.scbar.org/lre.
A total of 12 teams from five regions (Coastal, Lexington, Lowcountry, Midlands and Piedmont) will advance to the state competition March 8-9 at the Marc H. Westbrook Lexington County Judicial Center.
The roles of courtroom sketch artist and courtroom journalist were introduced in the 2011 competition and return this year to broaden participation across a more diverse group of students. Entries will be judged by local reporters, graphic designers and artists, and the winners will receive a certificate and plaque during their schools’ awards day. For examples of last year’s winning entries, visit www.scbar.org/LawRelatedEducation/AllPrograms/HighSchoolMockTrial/artistjournalist.aspx.
The Mock Trial program is sponsored by the S.C. Bar’s Law Related Education (LRE) Division, which was developed in 1976 to improve the ability of teachers to instruct law related education.
The Mock Trial program is made possible through a S.C. Bar Foundation IOLTA grant and the S.C. Bar.
The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 14,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.