This past year Attorney Joan M. Quade, division leader for the commercial litigation practice group at BGS, volunteered as a coach to the Spring Lake Park High School’s Mock Trial Team.
Mock Trial is a competition where participating schools are given a real legal case which was developed by the Minnesota State Bar Association. Each school’s students then discuss the case and are subsequently assigned to either attorney or witness roles. In some cases, team members may play more than one part. The students prepare the case like an actual trial. They must be able to compete on either the defense or plaintiff/state’s side doing both direct and cross examination and objections just as in a real trial. They practice extensively and compete in simulated trials against other schools.
The team consisting of mostly sophomore students did extremely well and one member was awarded a perfect score in one of the competitions. Even though they did not make the State competition this year, members of the Spring Lake Park High School’s Mock Trial team had the opportunity to attend and observe the State Mock Trial Competition in Duluth on March 8, 2011.
The legal case used by the Minnesota Mock Trial teams this year was based upon the criminal trial in the Condon murder case which occurred in Duluth in the 1970’s at the now famous Glensheen mansion.
Joan Quade said that “Attending the state competition was the reward and culmination of a year of hard work by our team on the Congdon Mock Trial case. Mock Trial builds confidence, public speaking skills and analytical thinking.”