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Theresa Browning
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Student Litigators Debate Mock Criminal Trial at State Finals

Sweaty palms and racing hearts will engulf 190 high school students participating in the state finals for the Indiana High School Mock Trial program, March 3-4, 2018, in Indianapolis.

Students from 12 schools will litigate a fictitious criminal case involving the use of social media to incite criminal activity. Each of the 24 teams will alternate as the plaintiff and defense through four rounds of trials in the competition. Each trial lasts a maximum of three hours. The top-two teams will make their case in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom in the final trial with Supreme Court Justice Steven David presiding.

Students from the following high schools will compete:

From central Indiana:

  • Carmel High School, Carmel,
  • Cascade High School, Clayton,
  • Fishers High School, Fishers,
  • Hamilton Southeastern High School, Fishers,
  • Heritage Christian School, Indianapolis, and
  • Roncalli High School, Indianapolis.

From northern Indiana:

  • John Adams High School, South Bend,
  • Marian High School, Mishawaka,
  • Saint Joseph High School, South Bend,
  • Trinity School at Greenlawn, South Bend,
  • Merrillville High School, Merrillville, and
  • Valparaiso High School, Valparaiso.


High School Mock Trial helps students build confidence in public speaking and find their voice,” said Collin Gruver, director of civic education programs for the Indiana Bar Foundation (Foundation), which has operated the program since 2014. Prior to that, volunteers operated the program.  Each of the preceding teams competed in a regional competition in either South Bend, Hammond or Indianapolis. The highest scoring teams advanced to the March 3-4 State Finals.

The purpose of the Indiana Mock Trial program is to stimulate and encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of the American legal system. The program provides the opportunity for students to learn the judicial system through a hands-on experience. Through mock trials, students gain an understanding of society's approach to dispute resolution and justice through an experiential learning opportunity.

Educating tomorrow’s leaders, like the students participating in high school mock trial program, is a primary example of how the legal community is working statewide to serve the public. Learn more about this charitable mission at

Media contact: Theresa Browning, Indiana Bar Foundation, 317-269-7864 or

Photos available upon request. To volunteer, follow this link. To read the case, follow this link.

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