Eastburn and Gray Coaches Local Mock Trial Team to State Competition
Eastburn and Gray attorney Kimberly Litzke, in conjunction with Central Bucks South High School Social Studies Teacher Tara Brouda and John Shaffer, Esquire collectively coached the CB South Varsity Mock Trial Team to Pennsylvania State Mock Trial Competition. Each team endured two rounds of competition during the 2-day grueling competition that took place in Harrisburg on April 1-2, 2016.
The CB South team included 8 seniors and 4 underclassmen which poses an opportunity for the 2016-2017 competition. The four underclassmen will band together with members of CB South’s 2015-2016 Junior Varsity team to compete in the following year’s competitions.
Unfortunately, unfunded programs like this are dwindling across the country. In Pennsylvania, this unique program is primarily funded by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (meeting space, hotel rooms and food) and fueled by PBA members who give both their time and expertise to serve as judges, coaches or jurors.
One of the largest in the nation, the PBA/YLD Mock Trial Competition gives more than 300 high school student teams from across the state the opportunity to act as lawyers and witnesses in simulated civil and criminal trials before actual judges and panels of juries. Lawyers volunteer to assist students as team advisors, scorekeepers and regional coordinators. Each year, the winning team goes on to represent Pennsylvania in the national competition. Quigley Catholic High School (Beaver County) ultimately won the 2016 Statewide Mock Trial Competition and will compete at the National Competition in Boise, Idaho. To learn more about the competition, please visit www.pabar.org/site/Public/YLD/MockTrial.aspx/.
Eastburn and Gray proudly coached three local mock trial teams in the 2015-2016 season. The firm has participated in the mock trial program since 2001. The mock trial program is structured like a “real” court trial and follows the same rules to provide students with a hands-on learning experience to learn about the United States legal system. Each member of the team has a specific role and is responsible for delivering an opening statement, conducting direct and cross-examinations of witnesses and delivering closing arguments. Students develop critical thinking and communication skills.
“I am so honored to have worked with this team,” said Ms. Litzke. “They exhibit intellect, demonstrate unyielding dedication and exude enthusiasm in every step of the competition.”