Robert H. Jackson Center To Host Mock Trial Tournament


Submitted Photo.

JAMESTOWN – Local high school students will compete for the Robert H. Jackson Cup in the mock trial finals on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at the center’s downtown facility.

Center President Susan Moran Murphy made the announcement on Friday.

This is the first time the tourney has been hosted at the center.



Each year, the winning team is presented with the Robert H. Jackson Cup in honor of the Supreme Court Judge.

In a media release, the center said competition evokes Justice Jackson’s experience on the lyceum team at Jamestown High School in 1909-1910.

Jackson’s work on the lyceum team acted as a precursor to a career that led him to the world stage at the Nuremberg Trial following World War II, according to the center.



The county’s top team proceeds to Regional Competition, and the top team from each of the state’s eight regions advances to the State Finals.

Each team, with the guidance of an attorney advisor and teacher coach, prepares for competition using a standard set of procedures. These procedures are a modified version of trial procedures that are adapted for use in the mock trial setting.

During the course of review and practice of the assigned case study, team members develop their various roles, prepare a team strategy, and learn trial procedures.

It is expected that team members enhance critical reasoning skills, listening skills, and their ability to “think on their feet” because each team is judged not only on their case presentation, but their ability to follow courtroom procedures and professional decorum, as well.

During tournament competition, each team will argue both sides of a case and assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses.  The tournament judges, who are usually local judges or attorneys, score the teams based on a rating sheet that includes scoring on preparation, performance, and professionalism.

Admission is free and open to the public.  The competition will begin at 4:30 p.m. will display the best of the county’s high school mock trial teams.

Chautauqua County has participated in the New York Statewide High School Mock Trial program since 2001.

Learn more at www.nysba.org/nysmocktrial.

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