Education

Fort Mill students argue case law, named state champions

The Fort Mill Middle School Mock Trial team took home the win in the S.C. Bar State Middle School Mock Trial Competition at the Richland County Central Court in the Decker Center in Columbia.
The Fort Mill Middle School Mock Trial team took home the win in the S.C. Bar State Middle School Mock Trial Competition at the Richland County Central Court in the Decker Center in Columbia. Contributed photo

Local students proved their knowledge of the law by taking home a Mock Trial state championship.

The Fort Mill Middle School Mock Trial team took home the win in the S.C. Bar State Middle School Mock Trial Competition Dec. 1-2 at the Richland County Central Court in the Decker Center in Columbia.

“It was a really good accomplishment for them,” said Nathan Sheldon, a Rock Hill lawyer who coaches the team along with attorney Gary Lemel, also of Rock Hill. “We are pleased with the way they did.”

Fort Mill Middle was one of 12 middle schools that advanced from the Nov. 4 regional competition in the Greenville County Courthouse.

Pleasant Knoll Middle School’s team placed high enough during the regional competition to be named a wild card team.

One winning team from five competing regions and seven wild card teams advanced to the state competition. Nearly 60 teams competed in the regionals, Sheldon said.

Students from 12 middle schools argued a fictitious civil case in a made up jurisdiction. The case is Landry Lamar v. Bobbie’s Burgers, LLC, in which Lamar sues the burger restaurant for unlawful whistleblower retaliation under East Carolina law, a release states.

Teams of students presented the prosecution and defense sides of the case. Students acted as attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and timekeepers.

Each team was judged on its presentation skills.

Mock Trials teach students how the law and American justice system works and how trials are conducted, Sheldon said.

Team work was part of what earned Fort Mill Middle the win, he said.

“They learn how to work as a team,” Sheldon said. “They worked really hard. They should be very proud of themselves.”

Pleasant Knoll came in 12th place at the state competition. This was the first year of competition for the new school’s Mock Trial team.

Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082

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