For the Public

Illinois State Bar Association's High School Mock Trial Invitational to Take Place March 30-31 in Springfield

CONTACT:
Chris Ruys Communications, Inc.
Chris Ruys
312-337-7746 or chris@chrisruys.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Teams from 45 high schools statewide will participate in the 30th annual Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) High School Mock Trial Invitational Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31, 2012, at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Public Affairs Center – Lower Level, One University Plaza, in Springfield.
 
The eight top-scoring teams will compete in the final round on Saturday, March 31, for the state championship. The winner will represent Illinois at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 3-6, 2012. [The trials will begin Friday, March 30, at 11:15 a.m. and will continue through Saturday afternoon. The final round will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31].
 
“The mock trial program is a rare opportunity for Illinois high school students to compete in a high-level academic endeavor,” says Lauren E. DeJong of Park Ridge, chair of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Law Related Education for the Public, which conducts the program.
 
“Students must analyze complex information, apply logic and deductive reasoning, communicate effectively, and use other critical thinking skills in the trial scenario,” she continued. “The ISBA offers this opportunity for the students to come together, after months of hard work and preparation, to challenge each other and stimulate discussion.”
 
Each 10-member team tries both sides – plaintiff and defense – of a hypothetical case developed by the ISBA Standing Committee on Law-Related Education for the Public. This year, the case involves the estate of the late Estelle Heeney-Potter, a wealthy widow, and her two estranged adult children –  Addison and Alexi Heeney-Potter, who vigorously contest the Will. Estimated at over $20 million, the estate leaves $10 million to establish a trust to care for the pets, and includes provisions to pay an annual salary of the pet keeper, Riley Rendlow, who is to remain in the home to care for the animals. The trust also will pay for the upkeep of the mansion, land, out-buildings, automobiles, as well as ensure financial provisions for veterinary visits to the property on a quarterly basis to check on the animals, provisions for pet food and other necessities for their care. The children are contesting the Will, stating that the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to create the Will, and that the defendants unduly influenced the decedent in the creation of the Will.
 
Students will assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses, and a panel of Illinois lawyers and judges, along with members of the ISBA Law Related Education Committee, will rate the students' performance. The students must also take a written test about the issues of the case and basic legal principles.
 
The high school mock trials have been conducted each year since 1982 by the Illinois State Bar Association to provide Illinois high school students an interesting and challenging way to gain insight into the American judicial system. The Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago is also a co-sponsor of this event.
 
The 33,000 member ISBA, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois member attorneys, and education to the public.
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NOTE: LIST OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS FOLLOWS.
 
Members of the media are welcome to cover any portion of the mock trials over the two-day period.
Participating Schools
Illinois State Bar Association 30th Annual Mock Trial Invitational
March 30 – 31, 2012 · University of Illinois at Springfield
 
Bartlett High School - Bartlett
Benet Academy - Lisle
Boylan Catholic High School - Rockford
Carmel Catholic High School - Mundelein
Chatham Glenwood High School - Springfield
Chicago Christian High School - Palos Heights
Deerfield High School - Deerfield
De La Salle Institute - Chicago
Elgin High School - Elgin
Evanston Township High School - Evanston
Glenbard East High School - Lombard
Glenbard South High School - Glen Ellyn
Glenbrook South High School - Glenview
Guerin College Prep - River Grove
Hales Franciscan High School - Cottage Grove
Highland Park High School - Highland Park
Hinsdale Central High School - Hinsdale
Hinsdale South High School - Darien
Hubbard High School - Chicago
Huntley Consolidated High School - Huntley
Joliet Catholic Academy - Joliet
Joliet Central High School - Joliet
Joliet West High School - Joliet
Lake Forest Academy - Lake Forest
Maine Township High School EAST - Park Ridge
Maine Township High School SOUTH - Park Ridge
Marian Catholic - Chicago Heights
Morgan Park Academy - Chicago
Mount Carmel High School - Chicago
Mundelein High School - Mundelein
Normal Community High School - Normal
Normal Community West High School - Normal
Oak Park & River Forest High School - Oak Park
O’Fallon High School - O’Fallon
Pittsfield High School - Pittsfield
Providence Catholic High School - New Lenox
Providence St. Mel - Chicago
Roxana High School - Roxana
St. Charles North High School - St. Charles
Salem High School - Salem
South Elgin High School - South Elgin
Thornton Township - Harvey
 Timothy Christian High School - Elmhurst
 Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men - Chicago
 York Community High School - Elmhurst

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