Lenox Memorial Mock Trial team heads to "Sweet 16" tournament


LENOX — The Lenox Memorial Middle and High School Mock Trial team has earned the right to represent Region 16 in the statewide "Sweet 16" tournament.

The Massachusetts Bar Association High School Mock Trial Program gives young adults the chance to experience court proceedings by taking on roles in a hypothetical case, serving as witnesses, attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants among others. They are coached by high school teachers and professional lawyers.

"Now in its 30th year, the competition not only introduces students to our legal system, but also teaches them the important role that advocacy plays in achieving justice," writes 2014-15 MBA Mock Trial Committee Chair Patrick J. Hannon Esq., of the program.

This past Friday, Feb. 27, Lenox faced off with Pittsfield High School in the lower courtroom of Pittsfield District Court. Judging the competition was Attorney Lindsay George of Cianflone & Cianflone in Pittsfield.

Organizers called it "a close contest between evenly matched teams," with Lenox ultimately prevailing.

The Lenox Mock trial coaches are Megan Porter, a history teacher, and Attorney Diane DeGiacomo from Cain Hibbard & Myers, now in her eighth year coaching.

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The current Lenox High team is comprised of almost 30 students across all grades, including: freshmen Harry Burns, Theresa Carotenuto, Noah Hochfelder, Noah Coggins-Kalischer Noah Mack, Nicholas Monteleone, Evan Silverstein, Ryan Silverstein, Gabriella Trager, and Marguerite Yee; sophomores Luke Bartini, Joseph Bouvier, Josef Collins, Connor Ellrodt, Alexander Hsu, Alice Huth, Miles Marshall, Jakob Parkinson, Connor Parkinson, and Elias Williams; juniors Grace Ellrodt, Jack Ellrodt, Chas Nvotsky, Henrik Palmer, Jackson Reis, and senior Isaac Gotterer.

This year, 135 high school teams participated across the 16 regions of the statewide mock trial system. In addition to Lenox and PHS, the other Berkshire County teams who participated in this year's mock trial series included Lee Middle and High School, St. Joseph Central High School and Wahconah Regional High School.

This year's fictional case, a murder trial, involves a man being fatally shot by the defendant in the case. According to the mock trial summary, the legal teams and jury must explore the evidence to determine whether the killing was a criminal act or a matter of justified self-defense.

This year's trials and tournament have been challenged by the New England winter weather, calling for a number of rescheduled trials to be held before the final "Sweet 16" bracket is determined and those competitive trials are rescheduled.

Mock Trial State Finals will be held on March 27 at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Learn more about the program at http://mocktrial.massbar.org.

Contact Jenn Smith at 413-496-6239.


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