In an intense competition before a packed federal courtroom in Albany, students from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, Suffolk County, edged out the team from Mount Academy High School in Esopus, Ulster County, to capture the 2012-13 New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament.
Teams argued the fictional case of Morgan Martin v. Cattaraugus Programming University, in which a university was sued for deceptive business practices for allegedly providing a prospective student with misleading statements regarding loan practices and opportunities for transfer of credits.Students took on the role of attorneys and witnesses in the case, with William Floyd High School acting on behalf of the university and Mount Academy serving as representatives for the plaintiff.
Hon. Karen K. Peters, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department, presided over the final round of competition at the James T. Foley Federal Courthouse in Albany on May 21.Afterward, Peters told participants she was "incredibly impressed" with the quality of the competition, telling them, "You were all just amazing." "This has been great fun," she said, joking, "I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to give all of you a hard time."
Six regional winners from throughout the state competed in Monday's semi-finals, with the two winners facing each other in the finals on Tuesday. The other semifinalists were Frewsburg High School (Chautauqua County), Jamesville-DeWitt High School (Onondaga County), Saratoga Central Catholic High School (Saratoga County) and Tottenville High School (Staten Island).
The winning team from William Floyd High School consisted of Kelsey Barnett, Shannon Beattie, Melissa Dubois, Erin Engelmann, Carolina Fuentes, Jessica Furia, Michael Gross, Taylor-Marie Hausser, Allison Johntry, Vincent Kappel, Dakota King, Mallory Nargi, Jonathan Nelson, Chelsea Smart and Emily Vigliotta. The team's legal adviser was Elizabeth Harrington. Legal co-advisers were Alex Bowerman, George Della Ratta, Keri Joeckel and Stephanie Suarez. Teacher advisers were Bill Hennessy and Robert Feeney.
The mock trial season began in December 2012 when more than 300 high school teams from across New York began preparing and presenting their cases in local tournaments. Local county winners then moved on to regional tournaments.The New York Mock Trial High School Tournament - one of the largest mock trial competitions in the country - has been administered by the Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee of the State Bar Association since 1982. It is supported by the New York Bar Foundation.
In conjunction with the annual competition, the State Bar will host a Mock Trial Summer Institute for students at the Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George from July 14-19.
The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in 1876.
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