6 high schools to compete in mock trial

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(CNMI Judiciary) — Six high schools will be competing on February 27 and 28 for the opportunity to represent the CNMI at the National High School Mock Trial Competition in Evansville, Indiana in May. The CNMI-wide competition will be held at the District Court for the NMI. Schools represented include Grace Christian Academy, Kagman High School, Marianas High School, Mount Carmel High School, Saipan International School, and Tinian High School.

“We are grateful to the U.S. District Court for accommodating the mock trial competition and providing the venue once again,” mock trial coordinator Gretchen A. Smith stated. She added: “I am excited for this year’s competition. The topic resonates with issues facing the nation today.”

This year’s problem concerns an excessive force claim by a police officer against a minor in Gabriel Johnson Torres v. Department of Public Safety. The fact pattern presents an officer entering a classroom and requesting the minor to hand over his backpack. In doing so, the officer pepper sprays the minor and subsequently brings the minor to the principal’s office. Prior to this, the officer received a report from another student that he had seen the minor with a gun.

Marianas High School represented the CNMI at the national competition in Athens, Georgia from May 16-18, 2019. Emma Timmons received an award for outstanding attorney; only 10 from the nation receive the award.

The mock trial program, now in its twenty-second year, is sponsored by the CNMI Judiciary, the CNMI Public School System, the CNMI Bar Association and the Northern Marianas Judiciary Historical Society. The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation has also provided funding for the local competition.

For more information, contact mock trial coordinator Gretchen A. Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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