The Wyoming Seminary Mock Trial team recently earned tenth place in the tenth annual Empire New York: The World Championship Mock Trial Tournament, held at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn, New York. This was the seventh year in a row that Sem has been invited to compete in the most prestigious Mock Trial event in the nation.
The Sem team compiled a record of five wins and three losses over four rounds and faced some of the best mock trial teams in the nation. In addition, senior Paige Allen of Mountain Top and team co-captain and senior Emily Laurore of Shavertown received Outstanding Attorney Awards, two of only 15 students to receive the award, out of 700 participating students. Sem history teacher Adam Carlisle and Latin teacher David Johnson are the team’s teacher coaches, and Paul Galante, Esq., Joseph C. Ruby, Esq. and Zach Watkins, Esq. serve as attorney advisors.
The Empire Invitational, considered the nation’s most prestigious high school mock trial tournament, brought together 44 mock trial teams from schools in 24 states in the United States and seven other countries. Teams are invited to apply for competition only if they have finished in the top of their state or country’s mock trial competition the year prior and are selected only after an extensive application process.
Mock trial teams argue a case before a judge and are evaluated based on their presentation, opening and closing arguments, direct and cross examination, poise and articulation, control of facts, and knowledge of Mock Trial rules of law and exceptions. Competitions involve two opposing high school teams who apply real-life statutes and case law to fictitious situations in a simulated trial setting.