June 12, 2014 — The Glens Falls High School Mock Trial Team has won the Warren County Championship for the third time in six years. Team members included Patty Corey, Phil Monrian, Dennis Dempsey, Sarah Deck, James Greene, James Coffey, Scarlett De Witt, and Devon Houseworth.
“Each year the team puts in over 100 hours of preparing to argue both sides of that year's case, with the assistance of our attorney advisor, John Wright,” said social studies teacher and club advisor Doug Hoyne. “Their dedication and hard work is ultimately what makes the Glens Falls Mock Trial Team so successful.”
This year’s case involved a natural gas company accused of polluting the drinking water supply of a small village in upstate New York as a result of the defendants’ “fracking” operation that is located near the village.
“The mock trial program is first and foremost an educational program designed to teach high school students basic trial skills,” said a letter from the New York State Bar Association. “Students learn how to conduct direct and cross examinations, how to present opening and closing statements, how to think on their feet and learn the dynamics of a courtroom. Students will also learn how to analyze legal issues and apply the law to the facts of the case. Secondly, but equally important, is that participation in mock trial will teach the students professionalism. Students learn ethics, civility, and how to be ardent but courteous advocates for their clients.”
This was the 33rd year of the New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament, which is supported the New York Bar Foundation and the New York State Bar Association.
For the second straight year, GFHS senior Jerry Casertino won this year’s Warren County Bar Association Law Day Essay Contest with his composition about voting rights prior to, and after, 1965. Open to all students in Warren County, the essay question asked students to outline how Americans’ right to vote has changed over time.
“I wrote about the Civil Rights act of 1965, and voting restrictions on women and African Americans such as the grandfather clause and literacy tests,” said Jerry.
Above left, Jerry stands with Kate Hogan, Warren County District Attorney, at the award presentation.
Jerry’s award was presented at the "Law Day" breakfast at Hiland County Club on Thursday May 1, where many of the judges and attorneys in the county gathered to hear from Barbara Bartoletti with the League of Women Voters. The Mock Trial Team also accepted the championship plaque at the Law Day breakfast.