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St. Mary's students vying for state Mock Trial Championship

Students from St. Mary's High School in Medford will join their peers from 16 other Oregon high schools in a mock trial today and Saturday in the courtrooms at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland.

They are competing to represent Oregon at the 2015 National High School Mock Trial Championship, held May 14-16 in Raleigh, N.C. Participants include about 240 students on 20 teams, each advancing from their respective regional competitions that took place on Feb. 28.

Students will try the case of Avery Leon v. Chinook County Transportation District and Lindsey Palmer. It is a fictional civil rights case centered around a police officer’s alleged use of excessive force on a suspect.

Students assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Students know only minutes before their trial is to begin whether they will be arguing for the plaintiff or for the defense.

Each team will argue the case three times throughout the course of the two days. The first round will be held this afternoon, with rounds 2 and 3 Saturday morning. After the first three rounds are completed, the top two teams will advance to a final round Saturday afternoon to determine the winner of the state competition.

St. Mary’s team is being led by teacher Kacey Dewing.

The mock trial competition is sponsored by Classroom Law Project and co-sponsored by Lewis & Clark Law School, Oregon State Bar and Oregon Law Foundation.