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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Winter 2007


This spring, the New Castle County Courthouse will be the hub of even more activity than usual when the National High School Mock Trial Championships are held in the courthouse in May. Planning for the Championships began back in the spring of 2005 when Delaware’s bid to host them was accepted by the National Board. Since then, many hours of work by representatives of the courts, the Bar, and other organizations have been devoted to raising funding for and organizing this event which is expected to draw more than 1000 visitors to Wilmington. The effort is being spearheaded by a Host Committee appointed by Chief Justice Steele and headed by Superior Court Judge Joseph R. Slights III, Francis J. (Pete) Jones Jr., Esq. of Morris, James, and Franny M. Haney of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The teams who come to Wilmington will have survived the rigors of mock trial competitions in their home states or areas and will be ready for competition at a national level. There will be a minimum of 44 teams participating who will come from a variety of states, as well as from Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and South Korea. The mock trial competition at all levels provides a chance for high school students to learn more about the justice system and helps them to acquire lifetime skills in such diverse areas as analytical thinking, public speaking, and persuasion.

While the teams will spend much of their time in Wilmington practicing and competing, their time in Delaware will not be all work and no play. The Championship organizers have planned several social events for them, including an outing aboard the Twin Capes Ferry, a banquet, and a dance.

Volunteers are needed to assist with a number of different jobs such as assisting with registration and social events, serving as greeters, and escorting participants to courtrooms between May 8th and May 10th. In addition, attorney volunteers who have had prior high school mock trial judging experience are being sought to serve as judges. Volunteer judges will attend an orientation session and devote four hours of their time on either May 9th or May 10th during the actual mock trials. Continuing legal education credit will be given to Delaware attorneys for their participation as judges.

For further information, contact Franny Haney at .