MBA Mock Trial program kicks off its 29th year

Issue February 2014

Across the state this year, more than 130 high school Mock Trial teams are prepping to compete during the Massachusetts Bar Association 29th annual Mock Trial Program.

First organized in 1985, the Mock Trial Program started in January and runs through March 25. The program places high school teams from 16 regions across the state in a simulated courtroom, where students assume the roles of both lawyers and witnesses. More than 1,500 student competitors across the commonwealth are expected to participate in the 2014 Mock Trial Program. In addition, more than 100 lawyers across the state will volunteer as coaches and judges.

This year's civil case revolves around whether or not the wing of a stunt plane sheared off due to a design defect, or as a result of pilot error. The plaintiff is the child of John Dymek Jacob, a stunt pilot who died performing an advanced aerobatic maneuver called the Triple Lindy while practicing for a stunt show at the Devlin County Fair. The plaintiff asserts that the defendant, Carborite Aircraft Inc., failed to design the plane to withstand the standard amount of g-force necessary for a stunt plane in order to save money. Carborite's position is that the plane was designed correctly, and that the plane's maximum permitted g-force was only exceeded because of the negligent actions of the pilot.

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 20 in Boston and Worcester.

The two finalists will then advance to the state championship, to be held on March 25 in the Great Hall of Faneuil Hall in Boston. In 2013, the Winsor School of Boston won the state championship and competed in the national tournament in Indiana.