Friday, March 4, 2011

Dutch Fork High School advances to state mock trial competition

By: Molly Dawson, Social Studies Teacher

Dutch Fork High School has advanced to the S.C. Bar State High School Mock Trial Competition March 11-12 at the Matthew J. Perry Jr. Federal Courthouse located at 901 Richland St. in Columbia.  

Participating students include Elaina Boncorddo, Alex Brunson, Alex Cone, Supriya Juneja, Sterling Lecy, Taylor Lucas, Tanner McLeod, Kaity Nisbet, Zack Nisbet, Cierra Stanislaus and Chase Toler. The teacher coaches include Molly Dawson and Laurie Humphrey. The attorney coach is Tommy Evans.

Students will portray the roles of attorneys to present the plaintiff and defense sides of a fictitious case before a panel of local volunteer lawyers and judges. Additionally, students will fill the roles of the defendant, witnesses, bailiff and timekeepers. Each team will be judged on its presentation skills, rather than the legal merits of the case.

This year’s fictitious civil case, Addison Neeson v. Town of Butler, involves the death of Addison's son, Christopher Neeson, which occurred when the Butler Police Department recklessly pursued a minor traffic offense and his car was struck in an intersection. Addison Neeson alleges the reckless pursuit caused Christopher's death. For more information on the mock trial case or program, visit

The mock trial program is sponsored by the S.C. Bar’s Law Related Education (LRE) Division, which was developed in 1976 to improve the ability of teachers to instruct law related education.

 The mock trial program is made possible through an IOLTA grant from the S.C. Bar Foundation and additional funding is made possible by the S.C. Bar.

The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 13,500 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

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