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Volunteer judges needed for high school mock trial competitions

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The Indiana Mock Trial program is putting out the call for volunteer judges to help with this year’s regional and state competitions as well as the national championship which will be held in Indianapolis in May.

Attorneys who volunteer for the regional and/or state competitions will have the opportunity to obtain up to 6 free CLE credits.

For the 2013 National High School Mock Trial Championship alone, the association is estimating it will need to fill about 400 volunteer judges’ positions. Members of the legal community available to judge the national competition are encouraged to get a little practice by first judging at the regional or state level.

Regional competition of Indiana high school teams starts in February with the state competition following in March. The national championship will bring teams including over 500 high school students and an additional 1,500 spectators from across the country to Indiana.

The schedule of competitions is as follows:
Indianapolis Regional, Feb. 9
Hammond Regional, Feb. 9
South Bend Regional, Feb. 16
Indiana State Competition, March 2 and 3
2013 National High School Mock Trial Championship May 9 to 11

The mock trial competition requires teams of high school students to prepare a fictitious case and present it to a judge. The students refine their public speaking and critical thinking skills and develop poise and confidence while competing in an activity that emphasizes teamwork and citizenship.

Volunteer judges at the regional and/or state competitions can obtain free CLE credits by attending a one-hour seminar related to the substantive issues in the mock trial case. Judge Robert L. Miller Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and Susan Roberts, of Stuart & Branigin LLP, will present the seminar focusing on evidentiary issues raised in the 2012-2013 high school mock trial competition at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 24 at WNIT studios, 300 W. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend. A video of the seminar will be made available to any local bar association wanting to replay it for its members.

To volunteer for regional and state competitions, visit the Indiana Mock Trial website and click on the “Competition” tab, then follow the instructions on the volunteer judge form. To volunteer for the 2013 national championship, go to same website and click on the “2013 National” tab, then select the online registration system. Additional details will follow regarding case materials and competition rules.

In addition to volunteers, the National High School Mock Trial Championship organizing committee is seeking contributions to support Indiana’s hosting of the national championship. Much of the funding for the competition comes from law firms, businesses and institutions that value these important civic and leadership programs. Visit the 2013 National page on the Indiana Mock Trial website and select the partners and sponsors link to view a current partner and sponsor list.

Contributions can be made to the Indiana Bar Foundation with a notation that the donations is specifically for the 2013 NHSMTC tournament or by visiting www.inbf.org/in_mock_trial_2013.
 




 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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