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Mock trial program to become part of Indiana Bar Foundation

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Indiana’s Mock Trial competition will soon have a new home at the Indiana Bar Foundation.

The annual competition that gives high school students the opportunity to learn about the judicial system by participating in a mini-trial has been managed and operated by volunteers, mostly attorneys, from around Indiana.

After the 2014 rounds of the competition, the Indiana Bar Foundation will assume responsibility for the program. The IBF also manages We The People, U.S. Senate Youth Program and the Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council.

“It’s an ideal fit for our mission of educating the public about the law,” said Charles Dunlap, executive director of IBF. “We created the Center for Law and Civic Education to house youth education programs related to the legal profession.”

The Indiana Mock Trial Association organized the 2013 national competition held for the first time in Indianapolis. The association will run the 2014 state competition and give behind-the-scenes training to the staff at the foundation.

Longtime mock trial volunteer Susan Roberts, of counsel with Stuart & Branigin LLP in Lafayette, said the foundation is the right home for the Indiana program.

“It’s a good marriage,” Roberts said. “I’m enthusiastic about the mock trial program moving forward with the dedicated staff and resources of the Indiana Bar Foundation.”

Both Roberts and Ann Marie Waldron, Indianapolis attorney at Robinson Wolenty & Young LLP, will be teaching IBF staff their systems for managing the competition which, annually, involves about 400 students in regional and state competitions.

The 2014 state Mock Trial finals will be March 1 and 2 in Indianapolis. The winning team will then advance to the national Mock Trial competition held May 8 through 10 in Madison, Wis.

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