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Immediate
Christine Morganti
(505) 797-6028
cmorganti@nmbar.org

National Mock Trial Championship Coming to N.M.
 

May 2012 will see more than spring winds blowing into Albuquerque. Over one thousand juniors and seniors from across the country will be descending on the city to compete in the 2012 National Mock Trial Championship.
 

The State Bar of New Mexico and the Center for Civic Values (CCV) are the proud hosts of this impressive national event taking place May 10–13, 2012.

 

The competition was initiated in 1984 in Des Moines, Iowa, with teams from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin participating. The rest, as they say, is history as more and more states caught the fever and recognized the intrinsic value to the young participants. In 2010, 44 states competed in Philadelphia.

 

The competition will be the culmination of thousands of hours voluntarily invested by lawyers, judges, teachers and community leaders to prepare high school students for competition. The participating student teams will be the “best of the best” from states across the nation who have already claimed victories at district, regional and state levels. During the mock trial preparations and presentations, the students will gain knowledge and develop skills that will serve them well throughout their entire lives. They will learn about the law, about making logical, cohesive and persuasive presentations, about teamwork and about effective communications. A vast majority of the students participating in mock trial competitions will go to college and many will ultimately go to law school.

 

The late Justice Gene Franchini was a long-time and avid supporter of law-related education and mock trial in particular. He rarely missed traveling with New Mexico teams to competitions across the country. At the 2010 awards ceremony, the traditional Golden Gavel Award was renamed the “Justice Gene Franchini Golden Gavel Award.” A statement on the national mock trial website reads, “We miss him, and we honor him by keeping alive his many memorable stories and his contagious sparks of humor and energy.” The New Mexico state competition has also been renamed the “Gene Franchini Mock Trial Program.”

 

On the practical side, hosting the event is an expensive proposition. The goal is to raise $100,000 to cover transportation, meals, awards, and printing and mailing. Sponsors are asking for donations and in-kind contributions and services.

 

For New Mexico, this is a remarkable opportunity to showcase our state before a prime

audience. The students who participate in mock trial, particularly at the national championship level, are truly outstanding young people who one day will be the leaders of their states and our nation. They will be accompanied by their adult mentors—teachers, attorney coaches, parents and judges—who will also discover the beauty and charm of our tri-cultural Land of Enchantment.

 

“Not all students who participate in mock trial become lawyers,” said Franchini. “What they do become is better and more active citizens.”

 

Call (505) 764-9417 or 1-800-451-1941 to provide box lunches, T-shirts, DVDs and DVD production, A/V equipment rental, name badges/lanyards, refreshments for judges/volunteers (approximately 125 people), and actual awards (plaques).

 

To make a tax-deductible donation, visit http://www.civicvalues.org/donate_now.htm.

 

The State Bar of New Mexico was organized in 1886 and is composed of more than 8500 members. Its purposes are to aid the courts in administering justice and preserving the rule of law, and to foster a high standard of integrity and competence within the legal profession.