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The Bar Associaton of Erie County sponsors an annual Mock Trial Tournament for public and private high schools in Erie County. The Young Lawyers Committee coordinates the tournament, which was first presented in 1981. The program is sponsored in conjunction with the New York State Bar Association's Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee that develops the case - criminal/civil - that is used as the statewide model. The program has strong educational emphasis and provides a forum for students to learn about the law, legal system and court procedures as well as improve on their basic skills such as listening, reasoning and ability to think on their feet. Throughout the tournament, teams argue the prosecution and defense and team members act as attorneys and witnesses. On average, approximately 40 schools compete in the local tournament each year. The winner of the Erie County Tournament advances to the Regional Tournament and the Regionals Champion proceeds to the New York State Finals conducted in Albany. The winning team of the Erie County Tournament is recognized at the Association's Law Day Luncheon. The program receives strong support by lawyers and judges who volunteer and participate as mock trial judges and attorney advisors each year.

For more information, contact Susan L. Kohlbacher, Director of Programs and Events at 716-852-8687 (ext. 120) or e-mail at skohlbacher@eriebar.org