Lawyers Journal

More than 1,500 students will participate in Mock Trial Program

More than 1,500 students across the state are turning their classrooms into courtrooms to assume the roles of both lawyers and witnesses during this year's 28th annual Mock Trial Program presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association.

First organized in 1985, the Mock Trial Program started in January and runs through March 20. The program places high school teams from 16 regions across the state in a simulated courtroom.

Student competitors at more than 130 schools across the commonwealth are expected to participate in the 2013 Mock Trial Program. In addition, more than 100 lawyers across the state will volunteer as coaches and judges.

In this year's criminal case, the prosecution alleges the defendant poisoned and killed his great-aunt by tampering with her medication. The defense claims the great-aunt either died of a natural heart attack or was murdered by either her live-in caretaker or another relative upset about her reduction of their inheritance.

Out of the more than 130 teams of students, four will ultimately advance to the semi-final elimination round and face off during trials held simultaneously on March 18 in Boston and Worcester.

The two finalists will then advance to the state championship, to be held on March 20 in the Great Hall of Faneuil Hall in Boston. In 2012, The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School of South Hadley won the state championship, its second in a row, and competed in the national tournament.

The Mock Trial Program is administered by the MBA, and made possible by the international law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP through its Center for the Public Interest in Boston, which has contributed $25,000 per year to the program since 1998.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association