Rich Maguire, Esq., Senior Partner at Maguire Cardona, PC volunteered his time again as the attorney coach for the Bethlehem Mock Trial team. Twelve (12) students from Bethlehem High School participated in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial competition. The team practiced two (2) nights a week at Bethlehem Town Court. After five (5) months of practice, the two (2) Bethlehem teams advanced to the Final Four and were undefeated during the initial rounds. During the trials in which the teams were undefeated, they had unique opportunities to present their case in the Albany County Family Courthouse. Both teams were extremely fortunate to have presented their cases before actual judges. The Honorable Josh Farell from Albany City Court presided at the first trial, and the Honorable Michael Mackey from Albany County Supreme Court presided at the second trial.
The students learned the valuable skills of public speaking and critical thinking. In addition, the students learned the valuable lessons of ethics and civility.
The case problem for the New York State Bar Association involved a hypothetical fact pattern that involved three (3) witnesses for the prosecution and three (3) witnesses for the defense. The high school students presented motions in limine, opening statements, direct exams, cross exams, and summations. During the competition, the students are entirely independent and are not allowed to receive any direct advice from attorney coaches.
The Bethlehem High School and community should be very proud of their students, all of whom were well prepared, professional, and ethical. Congratulations to all.