High School Students Participate in Mock Trial

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East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School students in April Francis’ Family & Criminal Law class presented a mock trial case.

Students learned the necessary skills and assumed various roles such as lawyers, witnesses and jury members. In preparation for this case, they learned how our judicial system is designed, the impact of important Supreme Court cases, as well as evaluating high-profile cases, such as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. In addition, they were visited by local lawyers and given feedback about the law profession.
Staff and community members attended the mock trial presentation. Janine Schatz, a lawyer who resides in East Rockaway, served as the trial judge. Superintendent Lisa Ruiz and Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Honorable Sharon Gianelli served as judges of student performances. Additionally, Principal Joe Spero and John Piccarella, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and technology, served as guest jury members.

Lawyers for the plaintiff team were senior Rachel Graves, juniors Cassandra Araujo, Marissela Gomez and Brian Harelick. Witnesses for the plaintiff team were juniors Kristina Bruzzo, Zachary Olewnicki and Arcely Reyes.

Lawyers for the defense team were seniors Kayla Cimkowski, Judith Gruntz-Quadrozzi and junior Marc Crocco. Witnesses for the defense team were juniors Colin Barnes, Terese Bosshart and sophomore Nico Capone.

Jury members were seniors Andrew Machovec and Jessica Skellington, junior Sarah Donnelly, and sophomores Tariq Chavis and Caitlin Naidoo. Junior Shannon Dantona served as bailiff.

A fun competition and learning experience was had by all.