Massapequa High School Wins Region VII Mock Trial Competition

By Jennifer Andrus

Massapequa High School Wins Region VII Mock Trial Competition

5.6.2022

By Jennifer Andrus

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Massapequa High School topped dozens of other Nassau County teams to win the regional competition for the New York State Bar Association’s Mock Trial competition.

The Massapequa Chiefs faced North Shore Hebrew Academy in the regional finals last month. Judges score teams on several factors including professionalism in their presentation of a hypothetical case.

“I think that was definitely a surprise for us to have made it this far because last year we were unfortunately didn’t make it quite far in the competition,” said team leader Katie Pellegrini, a senior.

Lindsey Black, the other team leader, says the team has worked hard to get better. “We are really focusing on the things that we want to improve upon and that we know that if we can get those skills down, that will take us to the next level,” she said.

Pellegrini agrees. “I mean we’ve gone through seven trials at this point,” she said. “We’ve been taking the judges critiques and observing what those other teams do and what the judges say and putting that into each and every new trial.”

The students prepare to try the case for both the prosecution and the defense. Team members take on roles as the attorneys, witnesses, legal researchers and writers.  The local competitions are judged by attorneys and judges at the county level.

The students are coached by a team of high school teachers, local attorneys and a law student from Hofstra. Daniel Bachman, who teaches Advanced Placement Government and Law classes at Massapequa, calls Mock Trial “performance social studies.

“Mock trial is a driving force and the best way to teach the law and civics,” he said. “Putting a student in a courtroom and having them argue on behalf of somebody else’s rights makes them value their own rights even more. “

 

Massapequa High School – Region VII Winners – 2022 NY State Mock Trial Tournament Semi Finalists from New York State Bar Association on Vimeo.

County winners then compete in one of 8 regions across New York State. Each regional winner moves onto the semifinal round. The top two teams in the semifinals face off in the final round to determine a New York State Mock Trial champion.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, regional winners met in Albany for the competition. This year the semifinals and finals will be held virtually on May 23. The two best teams complete in the finals on May 24.

The NYSBA Mock Trial program celebrates its 40th year of competition this year. There are 400 teams involving 4,000 high school students in the competition.

The program is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association’s Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee. The New York Bar Foundation provides some of the funding.

 

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