PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Circuit Court Mock Trial winners awarded summer internships

Released On 05/15/2001

Cook County Chief Judge Donald P. O'Connell and the Chicago Coalition for Law-Related Education are pleased to announce the individual student and team winners of the Circuit Court of Cook County's Citywide Mock Trial 2001 Competition for Chicago public high school students held May 1, 2001, in the Richard J. Daley Center.

The Mock Trial 2001 Competition four top individual winners each received a paid summer internship in the Office of the Chief Judge. They were Paris F. Primm, Kenwood Academy, 5015 South Blackstone Avenue; Iryna Martyniv, Mather High School, 5835 North Lincoln Avenue; Chante Hill, Hirsch Metro High School, 7740 South Ingleside Avenue; and Russell Blomfeldt, Hubbard High School, 6200 South Hamlin Avenue.

Mock Trial 2001 Competition team winners were Hirsch Metro High School, Hubbard High School, Kenwood Academy and Lane Technical High School, 2501 West Addison Street.

"The high caliber of the work these students produce continues to amaze the judges year after year -- the professional polish evident in the preparation and presentation of their cases is inspiring," said Chief Judge O'Connell. "The Circuit Court is pleased to provide this wonderful hands-on opportunity for students to learn about the law and the court."

Five hundred and sixty students representing 28 Chicago public high schools competed in the two-month legal skills competition. This year's competition was based on the trial of a fictitious civil case, Pat Johnson v. Christopher Connelly High School. With guidance from volunteer lawyer coaches and school faculty, teams of students prepared and presented their cases during three rounds of competition in the Richard J. Daley Center. School teams consisted of four plaintiff's attorneys, four defense attorneys, five witnesses for the plaintiff and five for the defendant and a deputy sheriff.

Chief Judge O'Connell praised the 36 Cook County judges who volunteered to preside over the competition.

"The participation of real judges helps to enhance the authentic courtroom experience for the students," said Chief Judge O'Connell, who noted that for the first time all three rounds of competition were presided over by judges of the Circuit Court whereas previously lawyers substituted as judges in the first two rounds and judges of the Circuit Court presided only over the finals. "Each year the number of judges who volunteer for this event increases, a concrete demonstration of the court's commitment to young people," said Chief Judge O'Connell.

Presiding over the final competition were Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, Judge Edward R. Jordan and Judge Marcia Maras.

Now in its eighteenth year, the Citywide Mock Trial Competition is sponsored by the Chicago Coalition for Law-Related Education which is composed of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the law firm of Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, The Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Public Schools.

 

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