High School Students Compete in State Mock Trial Championship This Weekend - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Mar 12, 2013

Schools from across the state to gather March 15-16th in Nashville

NASHVILLE, March 12, 2013— High school teams from across Tennessee will put their legal skills to the test during the Tennessee Bar Association's 33rd annual mock trial championship in Nashville this coming weekend, March 15-16. The event will be held at the historic Davidson County Courthouse.

Rounds on Friday, March 15, are at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. On Saturday, March 16, the competition continues with rounds at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to determine which two teams will compete in the final match up at 5 p.m. Sitting judges in Tennessee will preside over the four preliminary rounds while Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch Jr. will preside over the championship round. Awards for teams placing third through 10th place and for students named best attorneys and best witnesses will be presented at a ceremony beginning at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the downtown Doubletree Hotel, 315 4th Avenue North, Nashville 37219. TBA President Jackie Dixon will be on hand to give remarks.

To reach the state championship, the 14 teams had to win district competitions by playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious case developed by the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

This year, teams presented the case of State of Tennessee v. Cameron Paul, a small town auto mechanic who is suspected of murdering Thor Brush, an investment broker who convinces friends and local businessmen to invest in his sham company U.R. Rich. When news of the scheme becomes public, clients, including Paul, realize they have lost everything. Brush is indicted and is awaiting trial when he suddenly dies after his car careens out of control and crashes. Paul had recently worked on the car and is arrested after police determine that the brake connections were deliberately loosened. Prosecutors argue that the mechanic – upset about the financial loss – intentionally tampered with the car. The defense places the blame on Brush himself, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was texting, and had fatal levels of heart and migraine medication in his system at the time of the accident. What no one is talking about though is the town’s pharmacist, who also invested with Brush and had just filled his prescriptions prior to the crash. As always, the case offers many opportunities for students for express their creativity, develop persuasive speaking skills and learn the basics of trial procedure.

About 200 students, teachers and coaches will participate in the event. Another 200 volunteers – mostly judges, lawyers, paralegals and law students – will give of their time and expertise to make the competition run smoothly.

The following schools will be represented at this year’s state competition (listed in alphabetical order):

Bearden High School, Knoxville
Beech High School, Hendersonville
Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association, Chattanooga
Dyersburg High School, Dyersburg
Franklin High School, Franklin
Germantown High School, Germantown
Harpeth Hall, Nashville
Jefferson County High School, Dandridge
Kingsport Area Christian Home Educators Association, Kingsport
McCallie School, Chattanooga
Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville
Smith County High School, Carthage
The Webb School, Bell Buckle
Westminster Academy, Memphis

We welcome press coverage at the event.  For entrance to the courthouse, please use the doors off of James Robertson Parkway and come to the Registration Desk on the ground floor located near the elevators.


Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition

Trial Rounds                    
Historic Metro Davidson County Courthouse    
1 Public Square, Nashville, TN 37201

Award Ceremony
Downtown Doubletree Hotel
315 4th Ave. N., Nashville TN 37219

Friday, March 15
3 p.m.    First Preliminary Round -- Courthouse
6 p.m.    Second Preliminary Round -- Courthouse

Saturday, March 16
9 a.m.    Third Preliminary Round -- Courthouse
12:30 p.m.  Fourth Preliminary Round -- Courthouse
3:30 p.m.    Award Ceremony & Announcement of Finalists -- Doubletree Hotel
5 p.m.  Championship Round -- Courthouse
(or immediately following award ceremony)