Inside Track: Who's to Blame? High School Mock Trial Students to Tackle Tough Civil Liability Case:

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    Who's to Blame? High School Mock Trial Students to Tackle Tough Civil Liability Case

    High school students will tackle the difficult issues presented in a fictional civil property damages case during the 2018 Wisconsin High School Mock Trial competition.
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    Brookfield Academy High School Mock Trial

    The 2017 High School Mock Trial State Champions, Brookfield Academy, following the state finals in March 2017.

    Dec. 6, 2017 – A large company, Dig Deep Iron Mining Company Inc., comes to town to create jobs by mining for iron. Local activists protest Dig Deep, saying that it is damaging the environment. When the company’s mining equipment is sabotaged, Dig Deep calls foul on the protestors.

    But who is to blame for the damages: the protestors or Dig Deep itself?

    High school students will tackle the difficult issues presented in this fictional civil property damages case just released as part of the 2018 Wisconsin High School Mock Trial competition.

    The 2018 case, Dig Deep Iron Mining Company v. Jessie Green, was developed by the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Mock Trial Writers Committee, headed by Emily Lonergan, chair of the State Bar’s High School Mock Trial program.

    What is Mock Trial?

    The Mock Trial program provides high school students with an opportunity to act as attorneys and witnesses in a court case developed by State Bar members.

    “Mock trial is more than an extracurricular, it’s a one-of-a-kind, career-level experience that shapes a person’s life and career decisions,” Lonergan said. “We hope that the experience will lead to a career in law, but in reality, Mock Trial alumni are applying their skills to just about every career field.”

    Students will argue the case in teams of six to 12, first at the regional level, then the top 24 teams will advance to the semifinals, and the top two advance to the finals.

    “The final round is a special event for the top two teams,” Lonergan said. “These two teams have an opportunity to argue their case in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room, and the winning team advances to the national competition.”

    Since its inception in 1983, the Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Program has brought our legal system to life for thousands of students. Using facts and case materials developed by Wisconsin attorneys, students gain a deeper understanding of the court system as they develop their arguments and build their cases.

    Students have the opportunity to:

    • Analyze and prepare a case
    • Present as a witness
    • Argue their assigned role
    • Receive input and feedback from attorneys and judges

    In 2017, a record 118 teams – with 1,500 high school students assisted by 550 attorney volunteers – participated in the program, competing in regional trials across the state in February, and semifinals and finals in March in Madison. The state finalists compete in a national Mock Trial championship, typically in May.

    Mock Trial Volunteers Needed Statewide

    The success of the Mock Trial program depends on the volunteer efforts of attorneys like you. In the Nov. 15, 2017, issue of InsideTrack, Justice Dan Kelly invites Wisconsin lawyers to volunteer as a Mock Trial judge.

    The Wisconsin Mock Trial regional tournaments are set for Feb. 10, 2018, with semifinals slated for March 9 and 10, 2018.

    Volunteers are needed especially in these regions: Appleton, Green Bay, Racine, Waukesha, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, Wausau, Juneau, Madison, Janesville, and Wisconsin Rapids.

    Volunteers are needed for:

    • Regional competitions throughout the state on Feb. 10, 2018, in the morning sessions (7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) or afternoon session (12:30 to 5 p.m.); and

    • Semi-final competitions in Madison from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 9; and morning (7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and afternoon sessions (12:30 to 4:30 p.m. ) on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

    It is suggested that judges volunteer for either the morning or afternoon competitions.

    The finals competition will be held on March 11, 2018, in the Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison.

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

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