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Fort Mill Middle School took home first place in the 17th annual SC Bar State Mock Trial Competition held Dec. 1-2 at the Richland County Central Court at Decker Center in Columbia. The win marks the school’s first championship title. Forestbrook Middle School of Myrtle Beach was named first runner-up.

Twelve middle schools advanced from the Regional Competitions in November to compete in the SC Bar State Mock Trial Competition. The students presented the prosecution and defense sides of a fictitious civil case before a panel of local volunteers lawyers and judges. This year’s case was Landry Lamar v. Bobbie’s Burgers, LLC, in which Landry Lamar sues Bobbie’s Burgers for unlawful whistleblower retaliation under East Carolina law.

Participating students from Fort Mill Middle School included Mackenzie Carico, Amy Cogbill, Cassie Cole, Zachary DeYoung, Bella Faulkenberry, Alex Kaczmarski, Emily Keefe, Dhisha Kukalakuntla, Zoe LaFlamme, Grant Luebbe, Jake Moore, Sophia Mora, Anahita Sawhney and Lauren Stiles. The teacher coaches were Amanda VanValkenburgh and Angelia Limbaugh. The attorney coaches were Gary Lemel and Nathan Sheldon.

Participating students from Forestbrook Middle School included Hannah Bird, Brady Carney, Ryan Freudiger, Talyah Goodman, Cooper Goss, Hayley Grigg, Andie Horn, Jack Jones, Ashleigh Krueger, Roshni Nandwani, Sawyer Osborne, Rhea Procko, Alauna Reynolds, Britt Rockey and Jayleigh Stovall. The teacher coaches were Kristi Ogden, Jeremiah Chila, Shelly Reathaford, and Kathryn Van Ness. The attorney coach was Amanda Siegrist.

During the competition, the teams and their coaches selected Buist Academy to win the Professionalism and Civility Award. The award was created to highlight professionalism among teams inside and outside the courtroom.

For more information about the Mock Trial case or program, visit

The Mock Trial Program is sponsored by the SC Bar’s Law Related Education (LRE) Division, which was developed in 1976 to improve the ability of teachers to instruct law related education. The program is supported by the Bar’s LRE Committee and made possible through a SC Bar Foundation IOLTA grant and the SC Bar.