CHARLESTON -- Two Kanawha County middle schools are set to perform mock trial transcripts they wrote themselves as part of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia's West Virginia Law Adventure program.
A group of students from Horace Mann Middle School will perform its mock trial at 10 a.m. Feb. 5 in front of Magistrate Julie Yeager.
Students from Stonewall Jackson Middle School will perform their trial at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 6 in front of Magistrate Yeager.
Both trials will take place in a Magistrate Court Courtroom on the first floor of the Kanawha County Judicial Building, 111 Court Street, Charleston. Both groups of students are led by Sarah L. Stover, a teacher of gifted students at both Horace Mann and Stonewall Jackson. Not all participating students are in her gifted classes.
Unlike other mock trial programs in which students perform cases using scripts or materials prepared by adults, in West Virginia Law Adventure each class was asked to write its own script based on one of three criminal case scenarios described in the rules book.
The West Virginia program is adapted with permission from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation's original, award-winning Law Adventure Competition and Programs for grades seven and eight. For more information about the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, visit www.njsbf.org.
Classes from Andrew Jackson Middle School in Kanawha County and Point Pleasant Middle School in Mason County participated in the first part of the West Virginia Law Adventure project last spring. This year, all middle schools in Kanawha, Mason, Monongalia, Greenbrier, and Mineral Counties were invited to participate as part of the second phase of the pilot project.
Participating classes must perform their trial transcripts at a courthouse in front of a judicial officer.
For example, students of Western Greenbrier Middle School social studies teacher Susanna Pomeroy performed their transcript at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg on Jan. 22 in front of retired Circuit Judge Frank E. Jolliffe.
The trips to the courthouses are paid for with a grant from the West Virginia Bar Foundation.
Students are to mail their written transcripts to the West Virginia State Bar by Feb. 15. The Bar's Young Lawyers Section will choose winners, and the winners will be invited to perform their mock trials at the Supreme Court on March 30. Students' trips to the Supreme Court also will be paid for by the Bar Foundation grant.