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Mock trial program

On Wed, Feb. 25, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan presided as judge for the mock trial competition between Episcopal Academy and Archbishop J. Carroll High School for the Delaware County portion of the Pennsylvania Statewide Mock Trial Competition, sponsored by the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Delaware County Bar Association.

The case, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Harper Marmalard, was a charge of murder in the first degree with the defendant standing accused of hazing gone horribly wrong. After several months of preparation, students from Episcopal Academy, with assistance from teacher Jennifer Maier competed as the defense against Archbishop J. Carroll High School, who served as the prosecution, with assistance from teacher Kathy Tucker. Following a two-hour trial, with the prosecution arguing cold blood, premeditated murder and the defense claiming accidental death,  the jurors deliberated and reached their verdict: not guilty.

Pennsylvania's mock trial program, now in its 32nd year, is one of the largest in the nation. During the competition, eight-member student teams are given the opportunity to argue both sides of the case in an actual courtroom before a judge. The students, who play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, are assisted by teacher coaches and lawyer advisors in preparing for competition.  For the Delaware County Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Section, attorneys Alan Borowsky and Gina Gerber served as co-coordinators for the competition.