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May 26, 2011

SCHENECTADY COUNTY HOME-SCHOOL TEAM WINS STATE MOCK TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIP

ALBANY- A team of home-schooled students from Schenectady County won the statewide mock trial championship this week, defeating the Bronx High School of Science team.

The Loving Education at Home (LEAH) Schenectady Homeschool and Bronx teams faced off in the fictional case of Pat Parker vs. The Village of Empireville and the Board of Trustees of the Village of Empireville. The case involved an individual suing his village over a parking ban ordinance.

The LEAH Schenectady team -  Laura Brincat, Michelle Brincat, Rebecca Cambron, Jon Panzera, Caleb Trouwborst and Leah Trouwborst - is the first Capital District team to win the state championship since 1995. The team made it to the semi-finals in 2006 and 2010.

This year's team was coached by teacher Thomas Trouwborst and attorneys Lauren Mack and John Lockwood, both of the Schenectady County Public Defender's Office.

United States Magistrate Judge Randolph E. Treece presided over the finals at the James T. Foley Federal Courthouse in Albany on May 24th.

At the start of the season in December 2010, more than 300 high school teams from across New York began preparing and presenting their case in local tournaments. Local county winners then moved on to regional tournaments. Six regional winners went on to compete in the state championship in Albany. 

The New York Mock Trial High School Tournament is administered by the Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee of the New York State Bar Association. It is supported by the New York Bar Foundation. It is one of the largest mock trial competitions in the country.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.

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