Click here for a gallery of photos from the state finals.
In a nail-biting win on March 20, 2013, the Winsor School’s mock trial team won the state championship in the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) Mock Trial Program for the second time in four years. At its 2010 championship win, Winsor faced off against the same opponent, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter High School, a past champion in 2011 and 2012.
The more than two-hour trial took place in the historic Great Hall in Boston’s Faneuil Hall, where Winsor acted as the defense. While the defendant was found not guilty, this did not mean that Winsor would automatically take the state championship. By a vote of two to one, the three judges declared the Winsor team the winner due to its overall higher score.
Massachusetts Appeals Court Associate Justice Peter W. Agnes Jr., who presided over the mock trial, praised both teams for their composure and skills handling complicated evidence. “This was an inspiring performance,” he says. “I don’t think I’ve seen any law school mock trial competition that was better than any performance I saw today.”
As a result of their stellar performance, Winsor’s mock trial team members will advance in the competition to the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana, to be held in May.
At the state level this past year, more than 130 teams competed in the MBA Mock Trial Program, which began its 28th year in January. High schools from 16 regions across the state compete in simulated courtroom situations where they play the roles of lawyers, defendants and witnesses in hypothetical cases. The program is made possible by the international law firm of Brown Rudnick through its Center for the Public Interest in Boston, which has contributed $25,000 each year to the program since 1998.
(Thank you to the Massachusetts Bar Association for contributing to this report. Click here for coverage of Winsor's hard-earned journey to the championship trial.)