Mock Trial

The Saratoga County Bar Association invites local public and private high schools to participate in the Annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament. The Competition is co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Citizenship and Education, The New York Bar Foundation, the New York State Education Department, and local county bar associations throughout the State. It is the largest mock trial competition in the nation.

The Competition

The competition’s goals are:

  • To further understanding of the law, court procedures and our legal system;
  • Help increase proficiency in basic life skills such as listening, speaking, reading and reasoning;
  • Promote better communication and cooperation between the school community-teachers and students-and the legal profession; and
  • Heighten appreciation for academic studies as well as career consciousness for law related professions.

Recent fact patterns have focused on the issues allegations of: environmental law; sexual harassment in a school setting; negligence related to teenage drinking and driving, resulting in personal injuries to pedestrians; and employment discrimination arising under the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Previous years’ fact patters are available for classroom use. Contact lyc@nysba.org for archive copies. Students take on the role of either attorney or witness during the competition. The Saratoga County competition competition consists of four rounds. Two teams advance to the final round with the winner moving on to the Regional Competition. A Statewide Competition is held in Albany each year in May.

The Saratoga County Bar Association’s competition receives outstanding support from the judiciary, members of the local bar association and court system personnel. The individual trials are judged by sitting Judges from our City, County, Family and Supreme Courts. The Saratoga County District Attorney and County Attorney also act as judges for the competition. We have been fortunate to have Justices of the Appellate Division Third Department preside over our final round. Numerous local attorneys and teachers also devote many hours to help prepare the students for the competition. There is a marked increase in the poise, confidence and public speaking ability that is gained by the students who participate in the event. It also provides them an excellent insight into how our legal system operates.

The final event of the Saratoga County Competition is the Law Day Luncheon. The students and their teacher-coaches are guests of the Saratoga County Bar Association and special recognition is given to the students for their participation. An award plaque is presented to the county championship team. Past speakers have included Lieutenant Governor Mary Donahue, Court of Appeals Justice Victoria Graffeo, Congressman John Sweeney, Past New York State Bar President Lorraine Tharp, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division Anthony Cardona and local civil rights attorney Peter Pryor. The Liberty Bell Award is presented to a member of the community for his or her activities to advance the legal system.

Please send an e-mail to pclute@saratogacountybar.org if your school would like to join the competition. Schools that have participated in the past include Ballston Spa High School, Corinth High School, Galway High School, Saratoga Springs High School, Shenendehowa High School, South Glens Falls High School, Spa Catholic High School, Spring Hill School and Waterford Halfmoon High School.

Past Winners

  • 2015 – Saratoga Central Catholic
  • 2014 – Augustin Classic Academy
  • 2013 – Saratoga Central Catholic
  • 2012 – Saratoga Central Catholic
  • 2011 – Saratoga Springs
  • 2010 – Shenendehowa
  • 2009 – Saratoga Springs
  • 2008 – Saratoga Springs
  • 2007 – Saratoga Springs
  • 2006 – Schuylerville
  • 2005 – Saratoga Springs
  • 2004 – Saratoga Springs
  • 2003 – Saratoga Springs
  • 2002 – Spring Hill Academy
  • 2001 – Spring Hill Academy
  • 2000 – Galway
  • 1999 – Saratoga Springs
  • 1998 – Shenendehowa
  • 1997 – Waterford-Halfmoon
  • 1996 – Waterford-Halfmoon
  • 1995 – Waterford-Halfmoon
  • 1994 – Waterford-Halfmoon
  • 1993 – Waterford-Halfmoon
  • 1992 – Ballston Spa
  • 1991 – Waterford-Halfmoon
  • 1990 – Ballston Spa
  • 1989 – Waterford-Halfmoon
  • 1988 – Saratoga Springs
  • 1987 – Shenendehowa

Officers

  • President Joseph C. Berger
  • Vice President Nancy Sciocchetti
  • Treasurer Elena Jaffe Tastensen
  • Secretary Christopher Mills
  • Immediate Past President Matthew R. Coseo

Board of Directors

  • Joseph C. Berger
  • John R. Canney, IV
  • Matthew L. Chivers*
  • M. Elizabeth Coreno*
  • Matthew R. Coseo*
  • James S. Cox*
  • Stephen M. Dorsey*
  • Gordon W. Eddy
  • Stephanie W. Ferradino*
  • Karen A. Heggen*

Board of Directors

  • Stuart Kaufman
  • Kyle N. Kordich*
  • Michelle M. Kulak
  • Christopher Mills
  • Kathleen A. Nielson
  • Hon. Thomas D. Nolan, Jr.
  • Hon. Paul Pelagalli*
  • Scott M. Peterson
  • Tara Pleat
  • Nancy Sciocchetti
  • Karl J. Sleight*
  • Bruce D. Steves
  • Elena Jaffe Tastensen
  • Hon. Francine Vero

*Past President of the Bar

State Bar Delegates

  • James S. Cox*
  • Nancy Sciocchetti
  • Scott M. Peterson (Alt.)

*Past President of the Bar

Executive Coordinator

Patricia L. Clute P.O. Box 994 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Telephone/Fax: 518-280-1974 pclute@saratogacountybar.org