Twenty-six high schools from across Pennsylvania fielding 32 teams participated in the fourth annual La Salle University Blue and Gold High School Mock Trial Competition recently.
The A team from Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, Pa., was the winning squad. Second place was taken by the A team from J.P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pa., and Central Bucks South High School in Warrington Township, Pa., placed third. Central High School of Philadelphia received honorable mention.
The tournament is organized and run by the La Salle University Mock Trial Association.
“The tournament was a great success this year, and we hope to make a few changes for next year in order to help make the La Salle tournament the top high school invitational in Pennsylvania,” said Steven Johnston, President of La Salle’s Mock Trial Association. “I coach a high school mock trial team and competed in mock trial as a high school student, and I can attest to the high quality of La Salle’s tournament, thanks to the dedicated students here.”
“We hold the tournament to help prepare high school mock trial students for their district tournaments and to bring them to La Salle so they can experience our campus. The tournament has continually had the help of Political Science Department Chair Michael Dillon, the Political Science Department faculty, the School of Arts and Sciences, and La Salle’s Office of Undergraduate Admission,” added Johnston, a senior political science major in the University’s Honors Program from Lafayette Hill, Pa.
In addition to Johnston, the Mock Trial Association members who ran the event were Katherine McBeth, Kelley Grady, Patrick Prendergast, Jennifer Francisco, Rebecca Sweeney, and Robert MacDonough.
Two 2012 La Salle graduates who helped start the tournament, Steve Patton, a student at Villanova University School of Law, and Terrence McCarrick, a Georgetown University Law Center student, helped organize judges and count ballots. Other alumni judges were the Hon. Chris Wogan of the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, Philadelphia attorney Brian Grady, and Philadelphia attorney Gregory Nowak, who has volunteered as a tournament judge every year. In addition, other volunteers and alumni served as judges during the three rounds of regular competition.
“We couldn’t do this without their help,” Johnston said.
The La Salle Mock Trial team will travel to Penn State on Jan. 31 to compete in a regional tournament.