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Indiana gets positive verdict from mock trial visitors

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Two teams from the West swept the 2013 National High School Mock Trial Championship, but Indianapolis and the Indiana legal community made the best impression.

For the first time in the 30-year history of the mock trial competition, Indiana hosted the national finals. Forty-eight teams from across the country tried a case in four separate rounds May 10 and 11, which were held in the Marion County City County Building. The championship was held in the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse.

“We had so many compliments,” Susan Roberts said, adding many called this the best organized and most smoothly run of all national mock trial competitions. “They were extremely impressed.”

Roberts, a Lafayette attorney, helped to coordinate the nearly three-year effort of planning and preparing for the national competition. She is president of  Indiana Mock Trial and serves as treasurer of the national mock trial board. She wrote the case, “The Wasp,” for the 2013 national championship. Indianapolis lawyer Ann Marie Waldron served as chair of the NHSMTC host planning committee.

The 2013 national mock trial champion was Albuquerque Academy from Albuquerque, N.M. This team was also crowned the champion in the 2012 national competition. Runner up was the team from La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Neither Indiana team placed in the top 10. The team from Adams High School in South Bend placed 19th, and Valparaiso High School finished 22nd.

During their stay in the Circle City, the visiting students, judges, attorneys, teachers and parents were treated to outings at museums and sporting venues around the city.

“People loved our city,” Roberts said. “It was overwhelming how many people came up to me and said, ‘This is a fantastic city. We’re going to come back.’”

At the end of the two days, the students were given a souvenir booklet that included letters written to the mock trial participants from such dignitaries as United States Chief Justice John Roberts, Gov. Mike Pence, Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson and the deans of Indiana’s four law schools.

Also Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard issued a proclamation, making May 11 National High School Mock Trial Championship day in Indianapolis.

“To me it was very rewarding, and I was very happy,” Roberts said.
 

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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