Mass. Mock Trial team makes its case at nationals

Issue June 2003

The winner of the MBA's 2003 Mock Trial competition, Chelmsford High School, displayed impressive skill during its debut at the National Mock Trial High School Championship held May 8-10 in New Orleans.

Though the team placed 29th overall, the Chelmsford High team won two of the four trials in which they participated during the national competition.

"They were a little disappointed, but overall it was wonderful," said Denise Coffey, team coach and MBA Mock Trial Committee member.

Chelmsford High defeated teams from Rhode Island and New Jersey during the competition. But Chelmsford lost rounds in competitions with top-ranked teams from Indiana and California, which placed third and fourth, respectively, in the national competition. A homeschool team from Tennessee took the national title.

"It was their first loss this season," Coffey said of the Chelmsford team. "They enjoyed the competition. They liked learning more about the law. They had a good experience."

Chelmsford High secured a slot in the national competition after becoming the Massachusetts state champion in March during the MBA Mock Trial Championship. The team's trip to New Orleans was funded in part by a $2,500 travel grant from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation Board.

The annual Massachusetts competition was organized by the Mock Trial Committee of the MBA and sponsored for the fifth year in a row by the law firm Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP. A record 136 teams from across the state took part in this year's competition with more than 200 lawyers and judges volunteering their time to serve as coaches, judges and committee members.