Students tackle cyber-bullying case for '12 MBA Mock Trial

Issue February 2012

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 27th annual Mock Trial Program presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association.

First organized in 1985, the 2012 Mock Trial Program started on Jan. 23 with preliminary trials, and runs through March 23. The program places high school teams from 16 regions across the state in a simulated courtroom.

Student competitors at more than 100 schools across the commonwealth are expected to participate in the 2012 Mock Trial Program. In addition, more than 100 lawyers across the state will volunteer as coaches and judges.

This year's civil case explores the level of legal responsibility that high school teachers bear in identifying and preventing cyber-bullying among students. This timely topic illustrates the challenging intersection between law and social policy.

Out of the more than 100 teams of students, four will ultimately advance to the semifinal elimination round and face off during trials held simultaneously on March 19 in Boston and Worcester.

The two finalists will compete in the state championship on March 23 in the Great Hall of Faneuil Hall in Boston. In 2011, The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School of South Hadley won the state championship and placed 31st 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