Inside Track: State Bar Recognizes Extraordinary Mock Trial Volunteer Efforts, Rhinelander Wins 16th State Title:

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  • Inside Track
    March
    20
    2013

    State Bar Recognizes Extraordinary Mock Trial Volunteer Efforts, Rhinelander Wins 16th State Title


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    The Wisconsin Mock Trial semifinal tournament and final competition brings high school students from around the state to Madison annually to compete for the state title. This year Rhinelander High School brought home the gold. At the awards banquet, following the semifinal tournament, the State Bar Public Education Committee recognized individuals who have contributed to the success of this 30-year old State Bar sponsored program.
    Rhinelander High School

    Rhinelander High School won its 16th state title and will represent Wisconsin at the National Mock Trial Championship in Indianapolis in May.

    March 20, 2013 – The State Bar Public Education Committee recognized attorney and non-attorney volunteers whose dedication ensures the success of Wisconsin’s 30-year old Mock Trial Program. The awards were presented at the Mock Trial Tournament Semifinals Awards Banquet on March 10.

    Students from 12 Wisconsin high schools advanced to the semifinal competition at the Dane County Courthouse. At the end of the day Brookfield Academy and Rhinelander High School emerged as the top two teams. This ranking earned them a final face-off round before the Wisconsin Supreme Court the next day. Rhinelander High School won its 16th state title, and the team will represent Wisconsin at the National Mock Trial Championship in Indianapolis in May.

    Mock Trial Awards

    Public Education Committee Chair Kevin Lonergan presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Rhinelander teacher coach Kathy Vick-Martini, who has participated in the Wisconsin Mock Trial Program for 30 years.

    Kathy Vick-Martini

    Rhinelander teacher coach Kathy Vick-Martini has participated in the Wisconsin Mock Trial Program since it started in Wisconsin.

    “Traditionally this award is presented to an attorney,” said Lonergan. This year the Public Education Committee changed the rule and voted unanimously to present this award to Kathy Vick-Martini, who has been involved in the mock for 30 years. She has brought 21 teams to state finals, and several of those teams have landed in the top 10 nationally.

    “Kathy’s commitment does not end with coaching her team,” said Lonergan. “The first time my team won state she spent hours helping me teach our students how to compete at nationals. She also has been involved in the Mock Trial Advisory Committee.”

    Attorneys Emily Lonergan and Sarah Knutson received a special award for giving above and beyond to a team with significant challenges. Presenting the award, Mock Trial Chair Ellen Henak said, “Emily and Sarah coached a team from a charter school in Milwaukee that had difficulty obtaining funding and getting to scrimmages, and some team members had academic challenges – including reading difficulties. Emily and Sarah worked very hard to make this program work for people for whom it typically is not even an option.”

    The inaugural Spirit of Mock Trial Award recognizes a team that goes above and beyond to make the competition work for others.

    “We spend a lot of time in mock trial recognizing what is essentially academic achievement, but mock trial goes beyond winning, it goes beyond competition, it goes beyond the academics,” said Henak. “Sometimes it’s about making the team stepped up to help Emily and Sarah’s Milwaukee charter school team. They traveled from Appleton to Milwaukee to scrimmage, and they even did some fund-raising for them.”

    Emily Lonergan and Sarah Knutson

    Attorneys Emily Lonergan and Sarah Knutson received a special award for giving above and beyond to a team with significant challenges.


    Xavier attorney coaches

    Xavier attorney coaches (from left) Steve Mark Christopher, Hon. Mitch Metropulos, Dan Flaherty, and Kevin Lonergan, accepted the Spirit of Mock Trial Award on behalf of the Xavier team.


    For more photos, visit the State Bar of Wisconsin on facebook.

    Volunteers Needed for National Mock Trial in May of 2014

    Next year will bring even more opportunities for Wisconsin students. For the first time in 20 years, the State Bar of Wisconsin will host the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Madison from May 8 to 10, 2014.

    “We are proud to announce that Wisconsin will host the national competition in May of 2014,” said National Mock Trial Committee Chair Kevin Lonergan. This is an enormous undertaking. It will require a tremendous number of volunteer hours and fund-raising. We need more than 400 volunteer judges. We will need help arranging for the banquet, meals, events, registration, guiding people from courthouse to courthouse, and much more. We want students, coaches, and parents to get involved and help make Wisconsin proud.”

    About the Program

    The Mock Trial program provides high school students with an opportunity to act as attorneys and witnesses in a court case that has been developed by State Bar members. This year’s students – in teams of six to 12 – were presented with a criminal case, one that they first argue before a panel of volunteer attorneys and judges and then before the Wisconsin Supreme Court justices in the final state-level competition.

    For more information, or to get involved, contact Marsha Varvil-Weld at org PubEdCoordinator wisbar wisbar PubEdCoordinator org or call (608)250-6191, or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191.