Members of the White Station Green Team celebrate after being awarded the championship trophy in the 29th Annual Tennessee Bar Association YLD State High School Mock Trial Competition. Third from the right (second row) is Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee, who presided over the championship match.

Photo by Thad Combs

NASHVILLE, March 16, 2009 - White Station High School of Memphis claimed the state mock trial title this past weekend, defeating Battle Ground Academy of Franklin in the 29th annual Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition. It was White Station’s first bid to state in six years and the school showed up in force, fielding two teams. The green team won the championship, while the gray team placed sixth out of 18 teams. The school will now represent Tennessee at the national mock trial competition in Atlanta May 6-10.

Two-time reigning champion St. Mary’s Episcopal School, another Memphis team, earned third place in the competition, while West High School of Knoxville earned fourth place. To reach the state competition, each team had to win its respective district competition last month.

Clarksville High School won the state competition’s inaugural Team Sportsmanship Award. Given for the first time this year, the award recognizes the school that best embodies the values of the mock trial experience and demonstrates that commitment through its actions, words and attitudes -- not only during trial rounds, but also throughout the competition weekend. It takes into consideration issues such as friendliness, courtesy, graciousness in losing, fair and honest dealing during the competition, compliance with competition and trial rules, and overall admirable conduct. It is based on nominations by other teams and comments by presiding judges and attorney scorers.

The two-day state competition took place in the Metro Davidson County Courthouse in downtown Nashville. Teams from across the state put their legal skills to the test by playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious case developed by the TBA’s Young Lawyers Division. The criminal case, State of Tennessee v. Jessie Chandler involved the armed robbery of a health food store. With clues pointing to an inside job, students were given the option of arguing that the employee was innocent either because he did not take the money or because he had a right to it. This added twist kept teams on their toes as they moved through the competition.

About 200 volunteers, including lawyers, law students and paralegals, gave their expertise and time to the competition, while sitting judges in the state presided over four preliminary trial rounds. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee, the court’s newest justice, presided over the championship match Saturday evening.

The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is the largest professional association in Tennessee with over 10,000 members. Founded in 1881, the TBA provides opportunities for continuing legal education, professional development and public service. The TBA's dedication to serving the state's legal community is evidenced by its membership roll, which represents the entire spectrum of legal practice: plaintiff and defense lawyers, corporate counsel, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, government lawyers and legal services attorneys.


Complete Standings

1. White Station Green Team, Memphis
      Attorney Coaches: Eugene “Buddy” Bernstein, Bernstein
      Law Office; and Michelle Bernstein, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs

2. Battle Ground Academy, Franklin
      Attorney Coaches: Lee Davies, Schell Binkley &
      Davies LLC; and M. Thomas Taylor Jr.

3. St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Memphis
      Attorney Coach: Jennifer Nichols, U.S. Postal Service

4. West High School
      Attorney Coaches: Maha Ayesh, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals;
      Will Mackie; Jhasta Moore, Office of the Public Defender; and
      Greg Weddle, U.S. Attorney's Office

5. McCalllie School, Chattanooga
      Attorney Coach: Shelley Rucker, Miller & Martin PLLC

6. White Station Gray Team, Memphis
      Attorney Coaches: Eugene “Buddy” Bernstein, Bernstein
      Law Office; and Michelle Bernstein, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs

7. Beech High School, Hendersonville
      Attorney Coach: Bart Pickett, 5th Circuit Court

8. Family Christian Academy
      Attorney Coaches: Jeff Atherton, Burnette, Dobson &
      Pinchak; Scott Maucere

9. South Greene High School, Greeneville
      Attorney Coach: Guy Blackwell, U.S. Department of Justice

10. Dobyns Bennett, Kingsport
      Attorney Coach: Jeff Miles, Pectol & Miles

11. Hume Fogg Academic High School, Nashville
      Attorney Coaches: Mike Engle, Public Defender's Office;
      Ken King, Hume Fogg

12. Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet, Nashville
      Attorney Coach: Bridgett Wohlpart, Martin Luther King Jr.
      Magnet School

13. Dyersburg High School, Dyersburg
      Attorney Coach: Jeff Lay, Jones, Hamilton & Lay PLC

14. Tullahoma High School, Tullahoma
      Attorney Coach: Russell Hedges, Moore & Hedges; and
      William Rieder, Haynes Hull Rieder Ewell & Ridner PA

15. Seymour High School, Seymour
      Attorney Coach: NA

16. Haywood High School, Brownsville
      Attorney Coach: Michael Banks, Banks Law Firm PA

17. Clarksville High School, Clarksville
      Attorney Coaches: Christopher Barber, Kennedy Law Firm
      PLLC; and Stephen Darnell, Administrative Law Judge

18. Warren County High School, McMinnville
      Attorney Coach: Tom Miner, Office of the District Attorney

Team Most Valuable Players

Battle Ground Academy - Dawson Davies
Beech High School - Hunter Melton
Clarksville High School - Cari Drinnon
Dobyns-Bennett High School - Amanda Michalski
Dyersburg High School - Andrew Lay
Family Christian Academy - Meaghan Jones
Haywood High School - Hunter Burroughs
Hume-Fogg Academic High School - Alex Howard
McCallie School - Alex Vey
Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet - Brandon Holt
St. Mary’s Episcopal School - Austin Nichols
Seymour High School - Nathan Johnston
South Greene High School - Ashley Waddle
Tullahoma High School - William Yue
Warren County High School - Jordan Cleek
West High School - Amanda Swanson
White Station High School Gray - Julie Roseman
White Station High School Green - Grace Kim

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee (fourth from the right) joins members of the second place Battle Ground Academy team

Members of the Clarksville High School team receive the first annual Team Sportsmanship Award

Clark Hildabrand (left) of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin receives the Best Advocate for the Prosecution award from TBA YLD Mock Trial Chair Marisa Combs

Carrie Cox (left) of West High School in Knoxville receives the Best Advocate for the Defense award from Combs

Fred Brown (left) of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin receives the Best Witness for the Prosecution award from Combs

Charlton Simmons (left) of Beech High School in Hendersonville receives the Best Witness for the Defense award from Combs

Photos by Landry Butler and Thad Combs


Participating Judges

Judge Mark L. Agee, Gibson County General
      Sessions Court
Joseph M. Ayers, Campbell County General
      Sessions Court
Judge Keta J. Barnes, Municipal Court of Smyrna
Judge Joe P. Binkley Jr., 20th Judicial District
      Circuit Court
Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton, Davidson
      County General Sessions Court
Judge Joe Brown, U.S. Magistrate for the Middle
      District of Tennessee
Judge Jason R. Creasy, Municipal Court of
Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr., 30th Judicial District
      Criminal Court
Judge Burton D. Glover, Robertson County
      General Sessions Court
Judge John T. Gwin, Wilson County General
      Sessions Court
Judge Kimberly M. Hinson, Perry County
      General Sessions Court
Judge Jeff Hollingsworth, 11th Judicial District
      Circuit Court
Justice Sharon G. Lee, Tennessee Supreme Court
Judge Amanda McClendon, 20th Judicial District
      Circuit Court
Judge Camille R. McMullen, Tennessee Court of
      Criminal Appeals
Judge James G. Martin III, 21st Judicial
      District Circuit Court
Chancellor Russell T. Perkins, 20th Judicial
      District Chancery Court
Judge Ben Strand Jr., Jefferson County General
      Sessions Court
Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer, Tennessee Court
      of Appeals
Judge Thomas T. Woodall, Tennessee Court of
      Criminal Appeals

Attachment Size
2009_mocktrialcase.pdf 1.02 MB
2009_mocktrialrules.pdf 262.33 KB