Sidney Central
School District
Sidney class holds mock trial

A mock trial allowed students at Sidney Central School to experience the legal system in a unique way.

Students in Lori DePauw’s Foundation in Law class used the trial to strengthen their understanding of the legal system.

The students who participated in the trial were: Mike Baldwin, Taylor Barnes, Emily Cooley, Trevor Dutton, Maddie Hitchcock, Jillian Hornbeck, Dean Howard, Jolene Krom, Alan Pecor, Shawnee Porter, Maggie Schott, and Nate Vibbard.

Before taking the stage in the high school auditorium for the civil case they were working on, the class had the chance to practice in class with a criminal case.

Students portrayed many parts to the case – the defense, plaintiff, and witnesses. High school Principal Eben Bullock served as the judge and Delaware County sheriff deputy Dave Barnes, who is Sidney’s school resource officer, was the bailiff.

For the trial, students had to master material from a 50-page document. Included in the document were stipulated facts, case law history, affidavits from six witnesses, as well as several documents to be used as evidence.

Each team – the plaintiff and the defense – had two lead lawyers who had to deliver opening and closing statements, as well as prepare their line of questioning for each witness. Each team also had a prep lawyer, who made sure the witnesses mastered the details of their affidavits.

Six students served as witnesses, testifying in court. There were three for each side.

These students had to memorize all the materials accurately to avoid inaccuracies being caught by the opposing lawyer. The group had a strong grasp on their materials, and learned many things during the process, such as how something as simple as a date can render a witness and testimony irrelevant.

“This is a challenging process demanding tremendous courage and effort,” DePauw said. “Congratulations to this group of students for a job well done.”

The trial the class worked on was Kyle Wilkins v. New Columbia County School District, a fictional trial based on a father suing the school district for damages after his son died from a heart attack caused by excessive steroid use. The materials were developed by the D.C. Street Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center.

Photo caption: Pictured are those who took part in the mock trial. Front (from left): Jolene Krom, Maggie Schott, Taylor Barnes, Mrs. Lori DePauw, Mr. Eben Bullock, Jillian Hornbeck, Maddie Hitchcock, and Emily Cooley. Back (from left): Shawnee Porter, Mike Baldwin, Alan Pecor, Deputy Dave Barnes, Trevor Dutton, Nate Vibbard, and Dean Howard.

For a photo gallery of the trial, please click here
Sidney Central School District
95 West Main Street  |  Sidney, NY 13838  |   Phone: 607.563.2135  |   Fax: 607.563.2386
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