Friday, May 4, 2012

Law Day Culminates with a Civil Mock Trial Lesson

Kiah McGill prepares her argument at Foley Lardner.
After an introduction to trial proceedings in March law day’s lesson on criminal mock trials, ninth graders applied their preparation, negotiation, and delivery skills during this month’s civil mock trial.  Students began last Friday’s session with a review of the parts of the trial and an overview of the differences between criminal and civil law.  Following an exploration of the differences between the two, students split into two sides—plaintiffs and defendants, ready to tackle the facts of the case of Tubman v. Turner which challenged students to examine the issue of social host liability.   

Keneon Williams delivers his argument
Guest judge Deb Lange swears in witness Dean Smikle

Student attorneys and witnesses for the defense were tasked to represent party host Nat Turner and alleged drunk driver Bill Garrison, who after leaving a party hosted by Turner crashed into another car driven by Harriet Tubman, who was on her way home from work early one Sunday morning.  With the help of testimony from party guest Dorothy Dix, students representing plaintiff Harriet Tubman composed arguments to charge Turner with negligence and seek $100,000 in lost wages for Tubman.  Participants from both sides collaborated with volunteer attorneys to craft opening statements, witness examinations, cross examinations and closing statements in anticipation of the trail.  After 30 minutes to finalize arguments, the trial launched and objections and order in the courts began flying around the board room.   

April’s civil mock trail completed this year’s Law Day Program.  A special thank you to all the TMA law day chaperones and volunteer attorneys from our partner firms Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins, and Foley Lardner for their energy and efforts throughout the year in making the Law Day program run smoothly!  See you in the fall!  

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