The Vermont Bar Association was pleased to collaborate with the United States District Court for the District of Vermont, the Office of the Federal Public Defender, the Office of the Vermont Attorney General, and Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS) to present the Seventh Annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Program this year. The program was held at VLGS on March 25. Teams from schools around the state participated. They included Mount Mansfield Union High School (MMU), Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU), Milton, Twinfield, Hartford, Rutland, Brattleboro High School, Southwestern Vermont Career Development Center, and Randolph Technical Career Center.
Teams of judges and practitioners judged the competition, consisting of two rounds of pitting prosecution teams against defense teams in mock trial courtrooms at VLGS. Participating from Vermont’s federal bench were Geoffrey Crawford, Heather Cooper, and Kevin Doyle and from Vermont Superior Court, Mary Miles Teachout, Cortland Corsones, Mary Morrissey and Kirstin Schoonover. Practitioners who served as judges included Mary Nerino, Paul Van de Graaf, Barbara Masterson, Teri Corsones, and Barclay Johnson.
Vermont Law School students ensured that the event ran smoothly. They included: Ervin Yahr III, Maylee Carbajal, Alyssa Shea, Maia Young, Natalie May, Sara Andersen, Grace Polak, Lia Yelsky, Isabella Pickett, Lindsey Wood, and Anna Seningen. Other objectives of the competition included furthering students’ understanding of the law and legal system, improving proficiency in speaking and reasoning skills, and increasing students’ appreciation for law-related careers.
Awards were given for the best prosecution and best defense teams. The MMU B team, made up of James Bellizia, Jeffrey Lewis, Alex Floyd, Ryan Rankin and Gabrielle Alger took the best prosecution award. Best defense team went to the MMU D team: Jacob Leamon, Ella Nurkanovic, Daniel Allard, Grace Batsie, Adi Crary and Lily Korczykowski. The individual award for best prosecution went to Best Prosecution Attorney Award James Bellizia of MMU and Best Defense Attorney to Jacob Leamon also of MMU.
Here are some photos of the event provided by State Court Administrator and Mock Trial organizer, Teri Corsones: