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Mock Law group attends special Appeals Court session

Date: 11/24/2008

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM The Mock Law group at Minnechaug Regional High School often practices what goes on in a court of law, but for the first time in the group's history, on Nov. 13, select members had the opportunity to witness first hand what the Appeals Court of Massachusetts does.

The Appeals Court periodically hears cases in remote locations outside of Boston in an effort to reach out to the public and expose them to the workings of the court and the Massachusetts judicial system. The session the Mock Law group attended took place at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover.

"We got to watch professionals do what we pretend to do," Micah Algie, a senior and captain of the Mock Law club, said. "It was see a lawyer twist a point of view in his favor."

He added that some of the lawyers made the same arguments in the cases that he would have made.

The seven members of the club who went on the trip, along with club advisor Keri Pitcher, saw three criminal cases and two civil cases argued.

The presiding justice for the session was Justice Scott L. Kafker, who sat with Associate Justice Joseph A. Trainor and Associate Justice Cynthia J. Cohen.

"It was pretty cool watching them do their thing," Kelsey Grover, a freshman, said. "It was good to see how appeals worked. We haven't talked about that yet [in the club]."

In Mock Law, students are given information packets with the details of a case. Students then choose what roles they would like to play in the case -- lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants are create arguments based on the information they've been given. The group also competes against other Mock Law clubs from other schools.

Algie said he joined the club because he originally wanted to be a lawyer but has since changed his mind. "It does genuinely interest me," he said, "and it's opened up a world of politics for me."

Grover, whose father is a lawyer, said she is interested in becoming one herself.

"It's always interested me," she said.

The Mock Law club meets after school in Pitcher's classroom at Minnechaug.