News from the SBM ...

2013 Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament

Presented with the Michigan Center for Civic Education

March 2, 2013—Regional Tournaments, Ann Arbor & Grand Rapids
March 9, 2013—Regional Tournament, Pontiac
March 23, 2013—State Finals, Lansing
May 9-13, 2013—National Mock Trial Championship, Indianapolis, Ind.

Attorney Volunteers Needed

Volunteer attorneys are needed to serve as judges and bailiffs for the March 23 state finals. The Tournament requires 180 volunteer judges and bailiff/timekeepers. Volunteer Online
This year"s case is a civil case surrounding the alleged defamation of a mock-trial participant.

The plaintiff, a member of an up-and-coming high-school mock-trial team, alleges that the defendant, a rival school, made defamatory statements about the plaintiff in the defendant"s online newspaper. In the article, the deputy student editor of the school"s magazine alleged that the plaintiff appeared to be texting his coach during the final round of the competition.

According to the article, the plaintiff"s closing argument was unusually effective, and a review of the score sheets shows that the closing argument made the difference. The defendant has denied the allegations and is asserting that the newspaper article is true. As a result of the claimed cheating, the plaintiff lost her scholarship with a prestigious university.

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SBM Launches 2013 Law Day Contest

More Than $3,000 in Prizes Available
The State Bar of Michigan's second annual Law Day creative contest is now open for entries. Participants should submit a creative entry illustrating the 2013 Law Day Theme, "Michigan—Realizing the Dream: Equality for All," using content from one or more Michigan Legal Milestones.

The Michigan Legal Milestones program was created in 1986 to highlight the state's important cases, laws, and individuals. Bronze plaques commemorating the history of each of the 38 milestones have been placed throughout the state. Participants may utilize any Michigan Legal Milestone in their submission, but four suggested milestones to consider include "Murphy's Dissent," "One Person, One Vote," "Sojourner Truth," and the "Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act." Read more about the Michigan Legal Milestones program.

To participate in the Law Day contest, contestants should tie one or more milestones to the 2013 theme in a creative project. Examples of creative projects include essays, debates, mock trials, podcasts, dramatic or musical plays, re-enactments, short documentaries, board games, video games, and more. Electronic submissions are highly encouraged.

Winning projects will most effectively illuminate or dramatize the significance of the Michigan Legal Milestone chosen, and explain how the subject of the milestone created a more equal playing field for all citizens.

Cash prizes will be awarded. The $1,000 top prize will be awarded to one winner, up to two $750 second-tiered prizes will be awarded, and up to three $500 third-tiered prizes will be awarded. All winning submissions will be eligible for statewide recognition as a Michigan Model Law Day project and entry into the national-level American Bar Association Law Day awards competition.

The Law Day creative contest is overseen by a subcommittee of the State Bar of Michigan Law-Related Education and Public Outreach Committee, chaired by Margaret Krasnoff. Bart O'Neill heads the Law Day subcommittee.

Entries in the 2013 State Bar of Michigan Law Day creative contest are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2013. For more details about the contest rules and resources visit SBM Law Day.

Questions can be directed to SBM Communications Specialist Samantha Meinke at (517) 346-6332 or smeinke@mail.