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    Tuesday, May 30, 2017-1:08:20A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Mount Carmel repeats as mock trial champion

DEFENDING champion the Mount Carmel School Knights prevailed in this year’s CNMI mock trial competition, besting Grace Christian Academy in the final round on Friday at the judicial complex in Susupe.

The Knights were awarded the perpetual grand gavel, a plaque and individual medals and also earned the privilege of representing the CNMI at the national competition in Harford, Connecticut on May 11-13, 2017.

The Mount Carmel School Knights pose with their attorney coach Joe Taijeron, school president Galvin Deleon Guerrero and Chief Justice Alex Castro.  Photo by Bryan Manabat

It was the Knights’ seventh CNMI championship. They were also the winners in 1999, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2016.

This year’s mock trial case had to do with cyberbullying, and the championship round judges were attorney Nicole Torres-Ripken, Commonwealth Utilities Corp. legal counsel James Sirok, former CNMI Supreme Court Justice Jesus C. Borja, attorney Jennifer Dockter and attorney William Fitzgerald.

The 2017 Supreme Court Professionalism Award went to Saipan Southern High School for exemplifying the guiding principles of advocacy, professionalism, courtesy, respect to judges, jurors, fellow participants, and the justice system.

Named the best prosecution attorney was Arron Cushing of MCS. He also received the same award in 2016.

Cushing said winning the award would not have been possible without his whole team as well as the support of their coaches, teachers, and parents.

Another back-to-back winner is Yu Jin Lee who was named the best defense attorney in 2017 and 2016.

“It’s an honor to represent GCA in this competition,” she said.

The best prosecution witness was Romeo Shrestha of Tinian Jr. & Sr. High School while the best defense witness was Justin Ocampo of MCS.

Honorable mentions as best prosecution attorneys were Anne Margaret Norcio of Marianas High School and Shea K. Hartig of Saipan International School.

Honorable mention for best defense attorney was Stephen Carino of SSHS while honorable mentions for the best prosecution and defense witnesses were Hannah Ysabelle Balolong Chan of SIS and Yuuki Nishida of MHS.

The competition judges said they were impressed and moved by the passion of the students.

Joseph Taijeron, MCS coach — and not of MHS as earlier reported — attributed the Knights’ win to the students’ hard work and dedication.

“The win would also not have been possible without the support of the school and the parents,” he added.

The other participating school was Dr. Rita Inos Jr. & Sr. High School.

The annual two-day competition is sponsored by the CNMI judiciary, the local bar association and the Public School System.

View more of this article's accompanying photos in our gallery