- Instructional Support Services
The Orange-Ulster BOCES Division of Instructional Support Services' Mock Trial Program began its 2023 multi-round competition on Saturday, March 18 with teams from Chester, Goshen, Highland Falls, Minisink, Middletown, Monroe-Woodbury, Newburgh, Port Jervis, Warwick, and Washingtonville. The high school teams faced off in "courtrooms" on the OU BOCES campus and argued their cases before Orange County judges. Eight of the participating teams scored enough points to advance to the next rounds.
New York State Mock Trial Tournament is an educational program designed to teach secondary students basic legal and trial skills. Students learn how to conduct direct and cross examinations, how to present opening and closing statements, how to think on their feet, and learn the dynamics of a courtroom. Students will also learn how to analyze legal issues and apply the law to the facts of a case.
On the state level, the Mock Trial Program is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association. Locally, the program is sponsored and coordinated by OU BOCES in collaboration with the Honorable Craig S. Brown and the Honorable Kimberly Van Haaster. Local judges, attorneys, legal professionals, and educators volunteer their time to preside over the mock courtrooms and assist with running the program. All those involved in the Mock Trial Program dedicate a great deal of time preparing for the trials.
For the 2023 tournament, the students are arguing a civil case “Remington Stone v. Marley Miser and Acme Construction Company,” a fictitious civil case filed by Remington Stone, who was injured while working as a contractor on a home renovation site and wants to sue the homeowner.
The advancing teams that will move on to the next rounds are from Chester Academy, Goshen, Highland Falls, Middletown, Monroe-Woodbury, Port Jervis, Warwick and Washingtonville. The four single-elimination trials between the advancing teams will be held in the Emanuel Axelrod Education Center at OU BOCES on Saturday, March 25, 2023, beginning at 9:00 a.m. The four prevailing teams will then progress to the semi-final trial, to be held that afternoon.
The two semi-final winning teams will face each other in the OU BOCES Mock Trial Tournament final trial on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in the Orange County Courthouse before the Honorable Judge E. Loren Williams. A brief awards ceremony will follow the final trial.
The winner of the OU BOCES Mock Trial Tournament moves on to the Regional Tournament in Rockland County and from there, they have the opportunity to progress to the New York State Mock Trial Tournament to be held in Albany on May 21-23, 2023.
For more information about the OU BOCES Mock Trial Tournament, please contact Melanie Lofaro, Assistant Director of Instructional Support Services, at Orange-Ulster BOCES — (845) 781-4363, extension 10702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.