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. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.