White Plains, NY — The Westchester County District Attorney’s office along
with the Office of Court Administration’s Ninth Judicial District and High
Schools in Yonkers, Mount Vernon
participated in a “Mock Trial” competition with the goal of introducing and
familiarizing young adults in Westchester County
process. The semi-finals will bring two New Rochelle
high school teams and two Yonkers
teams to be matched against one another. The winning teams from the semi-finals
will immediately meet each other for the finals. The Mock Trial Competition
will take place Monday March 30th,
6:00 PM for the Finals. Each trial will
be conducted in Courtrooms on the First floor, Westchester County Courthouse,111
Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., White Plains,New York
Monday’s semi-finals and finals are the culmination of six
weeks of coaching by 16 Assistant District Attorneys from the Westchester
County District Attorneys Office as well as faculty advisors and the six Judges
from Supreme and County Court who presided over the quarter and semi final
The competition between the eight participating high schools
from Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Peekskill began on March 24th and
began last week.
A Mock Trial is a program in which students – High School,
College or Law School
– participate in contrived trials to learn new skills and compete with each
other. The program offers an opportunity for students to develop analytical and
public speaking skills. It is also a proactive way to introduce teens to the
criminal justice system and for them to see the system in a positive and more
The trials are structured like a "real" court
trial using the actual court rooms and following the rules of evidence that
apply in actual trials. The participating students get a hands-on learning
experience which translates into better understanding of how the legal system
works and what roles judges, lawyers, juries, and witnesses play in the system.
The presiding Jurist for the final round, to be held Monday
at 6:00 PM, will be Judge Francis
Nicolai, Administrative Judge, Ninth Judicial District.
ADAs volunteered their time and coached students as they
prepared their presentations from case materials – the teams are evaluated on
their demonstrated knowledge and presentation skills, rather than on the legal
merits of the issue at hand.
Following Monday’s final round, DA Janet DiFiore
and Judge Francis Nicolai will present awards to the participating and winning
students and teams.