OCBF extends helping hand to mock trial event

The Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament is once again under way thanks to funding support to the Michigan Center for Civic Education from the Oakland County Bar Foundation.  The OCBF recently presented a $5,000 check to the Center to support the 2014-15 Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament.

Eric Pelton, Foundation president, stated that OCBF is pleased to continue the support of the program for the 12th consecutive year. 

“We acknowledge the great opportunity this program presents to the high school students,” said Pelton. “The Foundation receives great feedback from the program and many of our attorneys who take part in it feel it is an invaluable experience.”

Linda Start, executive director of the Michigan Center, said the “MHSMT could not exist with the support and involvement” of lawyers.

“Lawyers tell us that they get more than a return on their investment of time,” Start said. “One volunteer recently remarked, ‘I was truly impressed with the performance of all of the students I observed, and think that the program as a whole is providing a great service to high school aged students, and a wonderful opportunity for practitioners to interface with young people in the community.’”

The Oakland County Regional Tournament in Pontiac continues to be the largest, with 29 teams scheduled to compete on March 14 at the Oakland County Circuit Courthouse. Regional tournaments also will held in Washtenaw County (February 28), Kent County (March 7), and Macomb County (March 7).  The top 10 teams will advance to the state finals in Lansing on March 28. The winning Michigan team is eligible to compete in the National Mock Trial Championship scheduled for May 14-16 in Raleigh, N.C.

The Michigan Center for Civic Education has conducted the Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament since the early 1980s. The program is designed to re-enact what takes place in a trial court. Students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and compete against other high school teams in real courtrooms in front of real judges and lawyers.  Funding also is provided by the State Bar of Michigan and the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

The Oakland County Bar Foundation (OCBF) supports legal aid and legal education in Oakland County. Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.7 million to worthy nonprofits in the county.

The Michigan Center for Civic Education is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) corporation, established in 1982 solely dedicated to preparing an active and informed citizenry through law-related and civic education. The Center offers programs for teachers, students and members of the community that reflect best practices in civic and law-related education, and provide experiences that are relevant, rigorous, and connected to real life.