Press Release: News Release February 2003: State Bar takes high school students to court:

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    News Release February 2003: State Bar takes high school students to court

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: Jason Westphal
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6077
    org jwestphal wisbar wisbar jwestphal org

    State Bar takes high school students to court

    MADISON, February 5, 2003 - After months of preparation, students representing both public and private high schools from across the state will kick-off the 20th Annual Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Tournament this weekend with regional competitions at 16 different locations statewide (Full list of 2003 Mock Trial Regional Sites/Teams).

    The High School Mock Trial Tournament is designed to develop and test critical thinking and public speaking skills while exposing students to the atmosphere of a real-life trial situation. Teams of six to 12 students will argue a case before a panel of three mock trial judges consisting of actual judges and attorneys. This year's simulated trial is a criminal case that involves the battery of a student apparently instigated by the defendant's perception of the victim's sexual orientation.

    "Wisconsin lawyers are committed to providing law-related education in the classroom to foster public trust in the system," notes State Bar President Patricia Ballman. "The Mock Trial Competition is a positive way for students to experience the legal process first-hand."

    The tournament is made possible by the efforts of hundreds of volunteer attorneys and judges, and is funded with grants from the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, Wisconsin Law Foundation and the Wisconsin Council for Social Studies.

    The winning team from each of the regional competitions will advance to the state competition in Madison on March 9 and 10. The winning state team will represent Wisconsin in the National Mock Trial Championship in New Orleans, Louisiana in May. Last year's state champion, Rhinelander High School, went on to finish fifth at the National High School Mock Trial Championship.

    For more information on Mock Trial, visit or contact Dee Runaas at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191.