Twelve S.C. high schools advance to Mock Trial State Competition

February 28, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 6, 2012) – Students from Bob Jones Academy, Chapin High School, Fort Dorchester High School, Greenwood High School, Lexington High School, the Montessori School of Anderson, N. Myrtle Beach High School, Socastee High School, Spring Valley High School, Strom Thurmond High School, Wando High School and Wilson High School have advanced to the S.C. Bar High School Mock Trial State Competition March 9-10 at the Matthew J. Perry Jr. Federal Courthouse located at 901 Richland St. in Columbia.

These teams competed in the regional competitions on Feb. 25 where they presented the prosecution and defendant sides of a fictitious case before a panel of local volunteer lawyers and judges. Additionally, students filled the roles of attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and timekeepers. Each team will continue to be judged on its presentation skills, rather than the legal merits of the case, in the state competition.

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

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. The following students have advanced in the Artist competition: Anna Akins (Carolina Forest), Allessandro Bussi (Wade Hampton), Libby Bergmann (Beaufort), Megan Greer (Montessori School of Anderson), Clarie Randall (Wade Hampton) and Haigler Woods (Hilton Head Christian School). The following students have advanced in the Journalist competition: Kayla Fenstermaker (Bob Jones Academy), Aleya Foulks (Dreher), Abby Holdeman (Chapin), Abigail Ludwig (Bob Jones Academy), Kiersten Rule (S.C. Governor’s School of Math and Science) and Keyson Whiteside (Strom Thurmond).

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.