Area high school students will compete in the St. Lawrence County Mock Trial Tournament from March 2 to 18 at SUNY Canton.
Six St. Lawrence County schools, coached by local attorneys, will argue a civil case involving the alleged embezzlement of funds. Participating local high schools will include Hammond Central School, Heuvelton Central School, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Morristown Central School, Ogdensburg Free Academy and Potsdam High School.
The goal of the tournament, co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association; the New York Bar Foundation; and the Law, Youth, & Citizenship Program, is to teach high school students basic trial skills. In preparing for their roles as attorneys and witnesses, students obtain first-hand knowledge of criminal and civil law, courtroom procedures, ethics, civility and professionalism, as well as gain a greater understanding of the fundamental rights granted by the U.S. Constitution.
“Student competitors will not only be exposed to various facets of the law, but will also hone important life skills such as critical thinking, public speaking and reasoning,” said SUNY Canton Legal Studies Assistant Professor and Tournament Coordinator Alexander Lesyk, J.D. “SUNY Canton is honored to have the opportunity to host this cooperative venture between our local high schools, members of the legal profession and the college.”
The county winner will compete in the regional tournament, and the top team from each of New York State’s six regions will then participate in the state final in Albany in May.
Several judges, including St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards, St. Lawrence County Family Court Judge Cecily L. Morris, and St. Lawrence County Surrogate Court Judge John F. Richey, as well as the President of the St. Lawrence County Bar Association Marcia LeMay, will preside in each competition.
For more information about the tournament, contact Lesyk at (315) 386-7517.
About SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses, as well as ten exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.