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Indiana Mock Trial Becoming Program of Indiana Bar Foundation’s Civic Education Mission

(INDIANAPOLIS)  Students competing at Indiana’s Mock Trial Competition this year will be focused on the criminal case they are trying. Volunteers will be aiding them and training the staff at the Indiana Bar Foundation (Foundation) how the Competition operates behind the scenes. The Foundation’s staff will assume responsibility for future competitions.   

Attorney Susan Roberts, Of Counsel with Stuart & Branigin LLP, Lafayette, has retired from practice but continues volunteering for the Indiana Mock Trial competition.  Indiana Mock Trial Association organized last year’s national competition in Indianapolis, and Roberts and volunteers, have organized the local and state competitions for 2014. She is confident the Foundation is the right home for the Indiana Mock Trial competition.

“It’s a good marriage,” she said. “I’m enthusiastic about the mock trial program moving forward with the dedicated staff and resources of the Indiana  Bar Foundation.” Roberts first judged the Indiana Mock Trial competition in 1989 and has been responsible for organizing the Indiana competitions since 1990.

Three Foundation staff will shadow Roberts and Ann Marie Waldron, of Indianapolis’ Robinson Wolenty & Young LLP, to learn their systems for managing the competition, which involves approximately 400 students in its regional and state competitions.  2014 will have teams competing from Indianapolis, South Bend and Hammond. The state finals, March 1-2, Indianapolis, has 18 teams competing. The winning Indiana Mock Trial team advances to the national Mock Trial Competition in Madison, Wisconsin in May 8-10, 2014.

Indiana Mock Trial provides high school students in Indiana with the opportunity to learn about the American judicial system by conducting a mini-trial from start to finish as the students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Indiana's mock trial program is recognized as one of the top mock trial programs in the country.

“It’s an ideal fit for our mission of educating the public about the law,” said Charles R. Dunlap, J.D., executive director of the Foundation. “We created the Center for Law and Civic Education to house youth education programs related to the legal profession.”

The Foundation also manages We The People, U.S. Senate Youth Program and the Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council.

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