Mar 10, 2002
A team from Glenwood Springs won the Colorado Bar Association Mock Trial championship today at the state finals in Fort Collins. Kent Denver came in second.
Students on the winning Glenwood team included Joel Banuelos, Zak Brewer, Will Click, Emily Cochran, Ashley Holtum, Alec Littler, Chas Salmen, Marco Salmen, Jake Taufer and Abby Willman.
In this annual competition among students from Colorado high schools, the participants pick up self-esteem, self-confidence, public speaking skills and legal knowledge.
All the students have been studying and practicing for months on a case and were ready to take either the prosecution or defense side. They play all the roles, except that of judges – Senior Judge William DeMoulin presided over the finals, with six lawyers and judges scoring the event. For each school, a teacher and an attorney or judge have volunteered lots of time to help the teams. In this case, Judge Victor Zerbi coached the winning team.
The case involved hazing and a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
On initiation night at “Metropolitan University,” when students can pledge a Student Social Organization, a track star named Jamie Johnson was attempting one of 12 stunts, when he fell, cracked his skull open and died. Who was to blame? Did the pledge master move a board and knock him off balance? Was it just an accident? Should these pledging rites be allowed at all? It took the teams two and a half hours to present the case to the judges.
Glenwood will go on to the national competition in May.