Students prepare for High School Mock Trial regional competitions

February 10, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Feb. 10, 2012) – Forty-two high schools from across the state will compete in the S.C. Bar Regional High School Mock Trial Competitions on Saturday, Feb. 25. Students will present the prosecution and defendant sides of a fictitious case before a panel of local volunteer lawyers and judges. Additionally, students will fill the roles of attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and timekeepers. Each team will be judged on its presentation skills, rather than the legal merits of the case.

Participating schools and competition locations are as follows:

Midlands region, Marc H. Westbrook Lexington County Judicial Center (205 E. Main St., Lexington): Blythewood, Branchville, Chapin, Dreher, Dutch Fork, Irmo, Lexington, Mid-Carolina, N. Augusta, Ridge View, St. Francis Xavier, Spring Valley and Wagener-Salley.

Coastal region, Conway Courthouse (1301 Second Ave., Conway): Carolina Forest, Early College, Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, Johnsonville, Myrtle Beach, N. Myrtle Beach, Socastee, Waccamaw and Wilson.

Piedmont region, Greenville Courthouse (305 E. North St., Greenville): Bob Jones, Christ Church Episcopal School, Ft. Mill, Greenville, Greenwood, J.L. Mann, Laurens Academy, Montessori High School of Anderson, Nation Ford, Strom Thurmond, Wade Hampton and Westminster Catawba Christian.

Lowcountry region, Charleston School of Law (81 Mary St., Charleston): Beaufort, Berkeley, Colleton Preparatory Academy, Ft. Dorchester, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head, Wando and Whale Branch Early College.

This year’s fictitious civil case is Tony Morganelli v. Sandstone Insurance Group. Morganelli is suing for insurance proceeds after claiming his restaurant was destroyed in a fire caused by a struggle with an intruder. Sandstone Insurance Group denies his claim and believes Morganelli burned down the restaurant to claim the insurance proceeds. For more information about the mock trial case or program, visit

A total of 12 teams from the four different regions will advance to the state competition March 9-10 at the Matthew J. Perry Jr. Federal Courthouse located at 901 Richland St. in Columbia. The state champion will advance to the national competition May 3-6 in Albuquerque, N.M.

The roles of courtroom sketch artist and courtroom journalist were introduced in the 2011 competition and return this year to broaden participation across a more diverse group of students. Six entries from each category will advance to the state competition, where these students will record their observations from the proceedings through sketches and articles. Entries will be judged the week following the competition by local reporters, graphic designers and artists. The winners will receive a certificate and framed copy of their work. For examples of last year’s winning entries, visit

The Mock Trial program is sponsored by the S.C. Bar’s Law Related Education Division, which was developed in 1976 to improve the ability of teachers to instruct law related education.

The Mock Trial program is made possible through an IOLTA grant from the S.C. Bar foundation and the S.C. Bar.

The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 14,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.