ALBANY—Students representing The Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Upper School of Ramaz (New York City) have won first place in the 2002 Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament.
The competition began in February with about 500 teams participating in six regional tournaments around the state. It culminated May 10, at the state Department of Justice Building in Albany. Court of Appeals Associate Judge George Bundy Smith presided. Six regional finalist teams competed.
The team from The Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Upper School of Ramaz includes: Talia Joseph, Talia Kraemer, Jocelyn London, Daniel Marks, Rachel Meyer, Dukie Morduchowitz, Michael Nadler , Avigail Sugarman, Danielle Sassoon, Caroline Phillips, Jenna Rimberg, and David Zobel. Dr. Jon R. Jucovy is the teacher coach. The attorney advisor is Bruce Schneider.
The remaining regional finalists placed as follows:
Second place: William Floyd High School, of Mastic Beach.
Third place (tie): Vestal High School, of Vestal.
Third place (tie): Coxsackie-Athens High School, of Coxsackie.
Fourth place: Pittsford-Mendon High School, of Pittsford.
Fifth place: Ramapo High School, of Spring Valley.
The tournament is made possible through a grant from The New York Bar Foundation. It is coordinated through the Law, Youth and Citizenship (LYC) Program, a cooperative effort of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and the state Education Department.
“The mock trial competition is a wonderful vehicle for getting youths involved in public discourse, where they can learn the mechanisms of dispute resolution as well as government. We try to give meaning to the words ‘due process’ so that it’s not just an abstraction,” said Aaron S. Ben-Merre of the Bronx, chair of the NYSBA’s Committee on Citizenship Education, which oversees the LYC program. “Each year we try to come up with a problem that is more than just putting a puzzle together, but that requires the students to use law, logic, and their public speaking skills. We also try to make it fun for them. It shouldn’t be something that’s simply a dry experience, but something they can enjoy.”
This year’s case involved a bank selling its customers’ personal information to third parties. Students assumed the roles of plaintiff and defense counsel, witnesses, researchers and parties involved in the hypothetical case.
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