By Katya Yefimova Herald Writer
EVERETT — Some Archbishop Murphy High School students have a good reason to celebrate.
The school’s two mock-trial teams won first and second place in the Snohomish County YMCA competition held at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center on Feb. 27. Both teams are heading to Olympia at the end of March to compete in the state championship, said Linda Krese, a Snohomish County Superior Court judge who coordinates the program.
Students in the mock-trial club play attorneys, prosecutors and witnesses to act out fictitious court cases. They receive feedback from real attorneys and judges.
“Students basically are putting a legal case together on their own,” said Roger Brodniak, head mock-trial coach at Archbishop Murphy.
The program runs in high schools and colleges across the country.
The cases are based on real-life cases. The case students argued in February was based on the 2001 arson at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture, Brodniak said. The students met with prosecutors who worked the real-life case and with the UW professor who worked at the center that was torched by a group of environmental activists.
Brodniak has worked with the club for about six years. The 32 students currently involved with the club are working very hard, he said. Students learn public speaking, teamwork and confidence and get to understand how the judicial process works, Brodniak said.
The teams will face tough competition in Olympia: Washington boasts some of the best mock-trial teams in the country, he said.
Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452, firstname.lastname@example.org.