Allyson Elliott, and Alex Furman
Back Row: Enrichment Teacher Theresa Daniels, Sheldon Carpenter,
Joe Bartholomew, Rachel Morris, Hannah Fink and Garrett Russell.
Missing from photo: Cooper Bonczar.
COUDERSPORT HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL TEAM
ATTENDS REGIONAL FINAL COMPETITION
Submitted by Andy J. Watson, Attorney Advisor
On March 16, 2009, the Coudersport High School Mock Trial Team participated in the statewide Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Mock Trial Regional Final Competition at the Federal Courthouse in Williamsport, PA before the Honorable William Arbuckle, competing against Montoursville High School.
The team obtained this honor by winning its third consecutive district title on February 2, 2009 by defeating teams from Ridgway, Oswayo Valley / Northern Potter, and Port Allegany at the McKean County Courthouse in Smethport, PA. The scoring results from the team’s district wins were so high that Coudersport earned a “bye” and did not have to participate in the Regional Semi-Final Competition.
The Coudersport High School Mock Trial Team has participated in the statewide competition for several years. This year’s case involved a wrongful death claim filed by the parents of a young teenage girl who was killed by a drunk driver. The parents sued the driver’s employer, seeking to hold it liable for the acts of its employee who became intoxicated at a business lunch and who subsequently decided to drive home and struck and killed the teenager.
During the Regional Competition, the Coudersport team portrayed plaintiffs, attorneys and witnesses on behalf of the victim’s family and the Montoursville team portrayed defense attorneys on behalf of the employer.
At the conclusion of the mock trial, Judge Arbuckle actually ruled in favor of the Coudersport team, however the jury members rendered a verdict in favor of the Montoursville defense team. Both the Judge and jury stated that it was a very close score and that both teams performed exceptionally well, better than most actual attorneys who practice before the Federal Court.
This accomplishment by the Coudersport team marks the third consecutive year Coudersport has won the district competition and the second straight year they have attended the Regional Final Competition. A win at the regional level would have placed the Coudersport team in the State Final Competition in Harrisburg.
The plaintiff team members representing Coudersport at the Regional Competition were attorney members Sheldon Carpenter, Tori Brown, and Joe Bartholomew, and witnesses Alex Furman, and Rachel Morris. The defense team who participated in the district competition were student attorneys Allyson Elliott, Cooper Bonczar and Colton Gerhart, along with defense witnesses Garrett Russell and Hannah Fink. The team’s advisor is enrichment teacher Theresa Daniels and attorney advisor for the third consecutive year is local attorney Andy J. Watson.
The Coudersport team began preparing for the mock trial competition in early December and have dedicated months of preparation to once again bring honor and pride to their community. The team is looking forward to next year’s competition and setting its sights on winning the Regional Final Competition in order to attend the State Final competition in 2010. Once again, Congratulations to the Coudersport High School Mock Trial Team!