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  • InsideTrack
  • January 15, 2020

    High School Mock Trial: Volunteer Judges Needed

    High School Mock Trial is one of the Wisconsin Law Foundation's signature programs, teaching teenagers about the law and our system of justice. Volunteer attorney judges are needed for regional and semi-regional competitions in February and March – sign up today.
    Bruno Pruhs delivers his closing statements

    As seen from the judges’ viewpoint, Whitefish Bay High School team’s student-attorney Bruno Pruhs delivers his closing statements to the judging panel during the state finals round in March 2019 at the State Capitol in Madison.

    Jan. 15, 2020 – In an age when many believe “reality” courtroom television programs portray what actually happens in court, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s High School Mock Trial program teaches students how our system really works – by doing what lawyers do: try cases firmly grounded in the facts and the law, in front of a neutral arbiter.

    Volunteers – whether practicing attorneys or judges on the bench – are needed for competitions across Wisconsin in early February, and in Madison in March.

    Volunteering is a chance to see the student’s dedication to the program. According to former State Bar president Fran Deisinger, who volunteered as mock trial judge in 2019, the student’s dedication is “absolutely inspiring.”

    “Please consider helping in whatever capacity you can,” Deisinger said. “I can’t imagine a more gratifying volunteer experience for a lawyer than this terrific program.”

    Volunteer Judges Needed

    Volunteers – whether practicing attorneys or judges on the bench – are needed in these regions: Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids.

    Volunteers judges are needed for:

    • Statewide regional competitions on Saturday, Feb. 8. Sessions run in the morning (7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and afternoon (12:30 to 5 p.m.).

    • Semi-final competitions on Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14, in Madison. Session times are Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

    Generally, volunteers choose to be judges for either the morning or afternoon competitions.

    The finals competition will be held on March 15, in the Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison.

    To volunteer, visit wisbar.org/mocktrial, click the volunteer button, and sign up for the semi-finals. If you have questions, contact Katie Wilcox by email or by phone at (608) 250-6191, or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191.

    Find out more about the case the teams are tackling this year.

    Zoey Styler cross examines a witness

    As the judging panel looks on, Whitefish Bay High School’s student-attorney Zoey Styler cross examines a witness from the Shorewood High School team during the state finals round in March 2019 at the State Capitol in Madison.




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