After months of work, the Minnesota high school mock trial season ended last weekend in the ceremonial courtroom of the Stearns County Courthouse — the courtroom made famous for its use in the 1992 film, “The Mighty Ducks.”
Students from Lakeville South High School prevailed over the mock trial team from Maple River High School (Mapleton, Minnesota) in the final round of the 2017 Mock Trial State Tournament March 3 and 4 in St. Cloud.
This time of year tournaments frequently include cross-checking or free throws, but the trial tournament is just as intense, if more cerebral. As a judge this year, Bar Buzz can say that it was a treat to see these well-prepared, well-dressed and well-spoken students tackle 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983. Bar Buzz left the room and came back in before the trial began, and the students and spectators were scrambling to stand. Took her a few seconds to figure out why. The presiding judge, Judge Mark Vandelist of LeSueur County, told the students they were better than some of the lawyers he sees in court. (Attorneys, you’ve been warned.)
Endearingly, the students and coaches all individually thank the judges and shake hands after the trial.
The final round was scored by Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug and Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, with Judge James Dehn of Isanti County presiding. But about 700 attorneys and judges participate in the mock trial season.
So now it’s on to the hockey tournament, with skated out on Thursday March 9 with the aforementioned Lakeville South defeating St. Thomas Academy 5-2.