Butler area high school students head to courthouse

February 4, 2014 by  

This February, students from several high schools in the Butler area will have the chance to show off their legal skills in a real courtroom.

The students will be participating in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Butler County mock trial contest. The competition will take place on February 11 and 12.

Hosted by the Butler County Bar Association, the contest is part one of a mock trial competition held across Pennsylvania. Teams that advance in the county contest will go on to compete in district, regional and state champion competitions.

Teams of 12 students from schools including Butler Area High School, Moniteau High School, and Seneca Valley High School will argue cases in front of a real judge. Area attorneys will sit on the jury. Students will be judged by the jury on their control, effectiveness, realism and poise.

The teams can use local printing companies to help prepare their cases. The companies can print research for the students as well as scripts. During the mock trial competition, the students play witnesses, lawyers, defendants and plaintiffs.

This year’s case focuses on a hypothetical student death. The student in the case was an athlete who took performance enhancing drugs. Student lawyers need to argue whether or not the parent or coach is responsible for the death. The students work with a lawyer and a teacher when putting together their mock cases.