High School Students to Compete in State Mock Trial Competition This Weekend

Schools from across the state to compete March 27-28 in Nashville

NASHVILLE, March 24, 2015— High school teams from across Tennessee will put their legal skills to the test during the Tennessee Bar Association's 35th annual mock trial championship in Nashville this weekend, March 27-28. The event will be held at the historic Davidson County Courthouse.

Rounds on Friday begin at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. On Saturday, 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 Jeffrey Bivins 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 Jonathan Steen will be on hand to give remarks.

To reach the state championship, the 16 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 are presenting the presenting the case of State of Tennessee v. Elisha Lane. The fictional scenario involves charges of vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment against the driver of a car, who may have been texting when a motorcycle rider is hit and killed. The case comes down to discrepancies in eyewitness reports, physical evidence at the scene and the vehicle’s event data recorder. Throw in a few teenagers, a disgruntled former Air Force pilot and a quirky town drunk and you have all the components to make this year’s competition a fun and educational experience. As always, the case offers many opportunities for students to 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:

  • Bearden High School, Knoxville
  • Chattanooga SE TN Home Education Association (CSTHEA), Chattanooga
  • Clinton High School, Clinton
  • Columbia Academy, Columbia
  • Dyersburg High School, Dyersburg
  • Jefferson County High School, Dandridge
  • Memphis University School, Memphis
  • Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville
  • Ravenwood High School, Brentwood
  • St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Memphis
  • Signal Mountain High School, Signal Mountain
  • Springfield High School, Springfield
  • Unicoi County High School, Erwin    
  • University School of Nashville, Nashville
  • White County High School, Sparta
  • White Station High School, 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.

          | TBA Law Blog

The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is the largest professional association in Tennessee with more than 13,000 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.

For More Information

Stacey Shrader Joslin
Tennessee Bar Association
(615)383-7421
221 Fourth Ave. N., Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219