Montoursville High School Advances to State Mock Trial Championships

Montoursville Mock Trial team:  Jen Rhodes, Ashley Confer, Aaron Bankus, Emily Satifka, Marcus Carrell, Sarah Rogers, Scott Robey, Katie Jean and Samantha Johnson.HARRISBURG (March 25, 2008) - The Montoursville High School Mock Trial Team is one of 12 Pennsylvania high school teams advancing to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships, Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg. The winning team of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals to be held May 8-10 in Wilmington, Del.

"The students making it to the statewide competition represent 'the best of the best' among the hundreds of students participating in mock trial program across Pennsylvania," said William J. Higgins, chair, Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, which coordinates the competition. "The team that will ultimately claim the title of '2008 Mock Trial Champions' will need to demonstrate strong communication and analytical skills and teamwork."

All 12 teams will compete in two quarterfinal rounds from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. The four winning teams of the quarterfinal rounds will advance to the semifinal round at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The state championship round will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday with Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin presiding. All events will take place at the Dauphin County Courthouse.

This year, 295 teams from 253 schools competed in the district and regional levels of Pennsylvania's mock trial competition - one of the largest in the nation. This year's fictional case centers an alleged kidnapping.

During the competition, eight-member student teams are given the opportunity to argue both sides of the case in an actual courtroom before a judge. The students, who play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, are assisted by teacher coaches and lawyer advisors in preparing for competition. Volunteer lawyers and community leaders serve as jurors in the trials. The juries determine the winners in each trial based on the teams' abilities to prepare their cases,
present arguments and follow court rules.

The Montoursville High School Mock Trial Team earned the honor of representing the region by defeating a well prepared Coudersport team in the final round, heard by Senior U.S. District Judge, James McClure, on March 20, 2008.  The Montoursville team is composed of Megan Arnold, Aaron Bankus, Marcus Corell, Katie Jean, Samantha Johnson, Scott Robey, Sarah Rogers, Jen Rhodes, Ashley Confer and Emily Satifka. The teacher coach is Daniel Wright. Bret J. Southard is the lawyer coach.

For more information on the 2008 Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championships, visit the PBA Web site at