Boylan to compete in March 30-31 state mock trial competition
Online Staff Report
Rockford’s Boylan Catholic High School will participate in the Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) High School Mock Trial Invitational March 30-31 in Springfield, Ill.
Teams from 45 high schools statewide will participate in the event at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Public Affairs Center — Lower Level, 1 University Plaza, Springfield.
The trials will begin Friday, March 30, at 11:15 a.m. and will continue through Saturday afternoon. The final round will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 31.
The eight top-scoring teams will compete in the final round Saturday, March 31, for the state championship. The winner will represent Illinois at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque, N.M., May 3-6.
“The mock trial program is a rare opportunity for Illinois high school students to compete in a high-level academic endeavor,” said Lauren E. DeJong of Park Ridge, chairman of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Law Related Education for the Public, which conducts the program.
“Students must analyze complex information, apply logic and deductive reasoning, communicate effectively, and use other critical thinking skills in the trial scenario,” she added. “The ISBA offers this opportunity for the students to come together, after months of hard work and preparation, to challenge each other and stimulate discussion.”
Each 10-member team tries both sides — plaintiff and defense — of a hypothetical case developed by the ISBA Standing Committee on Law-Related Education for the Public. This year, the case involves the estate of the late Estelle Heeney-Potter, a wealthy widow, and her two estranged adult children — Addison and Alexi Heeney-Potter, who vigorously contest the will.
Estimated at more than $20 million, the estate leaves $10 million to establish a trust to care for the pets, and includes provisions to pay an annual salary of the pet keeper, Riley Rendlow, who is to remain in the home to care for the animals.
The trust also will pay for the upkeep of the mansion, land, out-buildings, automobiles, as well as ensure financial provisions for veterinary visits to the property on a quarterly basis to check on the animals, provisions for pet food and other necessities for their care.
The children are contesting the will, stating that the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to create the will, and that the defendants unduly influenced the decedent in the creation of the will.
Students will assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses, and a panel of Illinois lawyers and judges, along with members of the ISBA Law Related Education Committee, will rate the students’ performance. The students must also take a written test about the issues of the case and basic legal principles.
The high school mock trials have been conducted each year since 1982 by the ISBA to provide Illinois high school students an interesting and challenging way to gain insight into the American judicial system. The Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago is also a co-sponsor of the event.
The 33,000-member ISBA, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois member attorneys, and education to the public.
Posted March 29, 2012
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