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Shelton, West Haven High Schools to Compete in Law Day 2003 Mock Trial Competition

As part of Connecticut's Law Day celebration, students from Shelton and West Haven High Schools will participate in a mock trial competition on Thursday, May 1, 2003.

This year's Law Day theme is "Celebrate Your Freedom -- Independent Courts Protect Our Liberties." Connecticut's events are held in conjunction with the national Law Day celebration sponsored by the American Bar Association and include various activities.

The mock trial competition will begin at 2:30 p.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom before Chief Justice William J. Sullivan, Justice Joette Katz, and Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille. The Chief Justice and Justices will select the winner.

The case the students will argue involves a zoning dispute over whether a home for AIDS patients should be allowed in a residential neighborhood.

Students on the Shelton High School team are: Mike Bifulco, Jan Curtis, Michaela Davis, Rich Denton, Brandon Dowdy, Rod Ghassem Zadeh, Sean Ghassem Zadeh, Caroline Kleczkowski, Ivette Knopka, Mark Kundrat, Gino L'Altrella, Jen Macchiarelli, Kyle Martin, Andrew Mihalko, John Mihalko, Ashlan Musante, Steve Nichols, Greg Opperman, Brian Reed, Dan Schofield-Bodt, Robert Simpson, Jon Sousa, Lauren Spice, Paul Sweetman, and John Vavra. Teachers Tonya Mastrobattisto, Carolyn Finley and Corry White, and Attorney/Coach Virginia Mihalko lead the team.

Students on the West Haven High School team are: Kristina Allen, Matthew Blottney, Amy Costa, Michael Dolan, Megan Greenberg, Amy Griffin, Maria Heaney, Brittney Lipsett, Matthew Manzella, Lindsay Michel, Darrylynn Montague, Michael Moore, Rose Ramos, Rashida Richardson, Carlos Rivera, Nicholas Rivera, Tim Smith, Jessie Stewart, Juan Suarez, Phil Tepfer, Melissa Youd, and Katie Zebrowski. Teacher Ron Conlon and Attorney/Coaches Daniel Lyons, Mary Galvin and Paula Uscilla lead the team.

The Connecticut Bar Association and the Connecticut Consortium for Law & Citizenship Education, Inc. are sponsoring the mock trial competition. This is the second consecutive year that the high school finals have been held at the Connecticut Supreme Court, which is located at 231 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.

An awards ceremony for the students will be held from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. Speakers will include: the Chief Justice; James Schmidt, Executive Director of the Consortium for Law and Citizenship Education; Jennifer Lewis, President of the Consortium; and Attorney Deborah Tedford, President of the Connecticut Bar Association.

"Young people today don't get enough credit for all of the good things that they do,'' Chief Justice Sullivan said. "This is a perfect opportunity to showcase those good things and the work that these students have put into the competition. It's an honor for me and my fellow Justices to be part of the event."

Earlier in the day, the Connecticut Supreme Court will recognize attorneys who have served on the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee. That ceremony will start at 10 a.m. in the Connecticut Supreme Court Courtroom.

The 24-member Bar Examining Committee is responsible for implementing the rules and regulations for admission to the Connecticut Bar. It also provides for the examination of candidates for admission to the bar; determines whether such candidates are qualified as to pre-law education, legal education, and morals and fitness; and recommends qualified candidates to the court for admission to the bar.

"The Bar Examining Committee performs an essential service to the State and its citizens by ensuring that the men and women who are admitted to the Connecticut Bar are of high caliber," Chief Justice Sullivan said. "We are pleased to recognize the committee members' commitment and dedication."

Also in conjunction with Law Day:

  • Twenty-five Judges are scheduled to visit high schools throughout the state to speak about judicial independence.

  • The Judicial Branch will honor its volunteers in a ceremony on Wednesday, April 30, 2003, in the Museum of Connecticut History, located at 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. The ceremony will start at 10 a.m., with the Honorable Thomas F. Parker, Deputy Chief Court Administrator, serving as the main speaker. Volunteers perform various tasks throughout the court system, and provide invaluable support to Branch employees.

  • For further information, please contact Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, Manager of Communications, at 860-757-2270.


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