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Middlesex Vicinage Hosts American Mock Trial Invitational

By Betty Agin
Law Librarian
Middlesex Vicinage

Hundreds of high school mock trial finalists from across the country and overseas participated in the fourth annual American Mock Trial Invitational (AMTI)May 17-19at the Middlesex County Court House in New Brunswick.

Law Day 2009
Superior Court Judge Joseph L. Rea, who sits in the criminal division in Middlesex Vicinage, listens to testimony during the fourth annual American Mock Trial Invitational.

Twenty-six mock trial teams representing high schools in California; Florida; Massachusetts; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; Ohio; South Carolina; Tennessee and Washington, as well as Canada and South Korea, competed in this year’s competition.

The winner was Menlo School from Atherton, Calif.  

The New Jersey teams that competed were Mainland Regional High School in Atlantic County, the 2008-2009 first-place state champion, North Brunswick Township HighSchoolin Middlesex County, which placed third, and Marshall Academyfrom Mercer County, which was a regional finalist.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner addressed theteams and invited guestsat a celebratory dinner outside the Ellis Island Immigration Museum on May 18.

The AMTI was established by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice in May 2006 to allow high school state mock trial champions with weekend religious obligations to compete in a national forum on weekdays.

This year, teams took on the civil case of Campbell v. Cornwall,in which plaintiff Campbell sued for injuries suffered sustained in a fire.

The case was written by Judge William E. Nugent, former chair of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s Mock Trial Committee, Mark E. Roddy, former vice chair of the committee and Ronald S. Levitt, immediate past chair of the committee.

The AMTI is the only nationwide mock trial competition that allows more than one team to represent each state. Up to three of a state’s top six high school championship teams are eligible to participate.

The invitational was held last year in North Carolina, where New Jersey state champions Crossway Home Learners of Atlantic County placed fourth.

Crossway is the only homeschooled team to capture first place in the foundation’s statewide competition.



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