Jackson Center To Hold Mock Trial Finals March 27

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The Robert H. Jackson Center will host the Chautauqua County Mock Trial tournament final competition on Tuesday, March 27.

The competition will begin at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Susan Moran Murphy, Jackson Center president, said the center is pleased to support Chautauqua County’s students, educators, attorneys, and judges involved in the mock trial program by hosting the final county competition at the Jackson Center this year for the first time. The Jackson Center’s purpose includes a special emphasis on educating youth on issues of justice and the rule of law. The competition evokes Justice Robert H. Jackson’s experience on the lyceum team at Jamestown High School in 1909-1910, a formative precursor to a career that led him to the world stage at the Nuremberg Trial following World War II.

Chautauqua County has participated in the New York Statewide High School Mock Trial program since 2001. Each year, the winning team is presented with the Robert H. Jackson Cup at the conclusion of the competition. The recipient team proceeds to regional competition, and the top team from each of the state’s eight regions advances to the state finals.

Each team, with the guidance of an attorney advisor and teacher coach, prepares for competition using a standard set of procedures. These procedures are a modified version of trial procedures that are adapted for use in the mock trial setting. During the course of review and practice of the assigned case study, team members develop their various roles, prepare a team strategy, and learn trial procedures. It is expected that team members enhance critical reasoning skills, listening skills, and their ability to “think on their feet” because each team is judged not only on their case presentation, but their ability to follow courtroom procedures and professional decorum, as well. During tournament competition, each team will argue both sides of a case and assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses. The tournament judges, who are usually local judges or attorneys, score the teams based on a rating sheet that includes scoring on preparation, performance and professionalism.

For more information about events at the Jackson Center, visit www.roberthjackson.org. Further information about New York state’s mock trial program, visit www.nysba.org/nysmocktrial.