Teams from Sheffield, Warren and Youngsville high schools will travel to Erie this week for the first round of District 2 competition in the Statewide Mock Trial Competition, hosted by the Erie County Bar Association.
Students from Cambridge Springs, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, Conneaut, Fort LeBoeuf, McDowell, Meadville, Northwestern, Oil City and Saegertown will also compete.
Those schools are among the 335 teams from 280 schools across the state competing at the district level.
Sponsored statewide by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the competition gives student teams the opportunity to argue both sides of a case in an actual courtroom before a judge.
This year's case, which is the same statewide, is a civil action seeking damages for the wrongful death of a student athlete who was allegedly encouraged to use illegal performance-enhancing drugs by her athletic director and her coach.
The students, who play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants are assisted by teacher coaches and attorney advisors during the preparation for the competition.
Members of the ECBA will serve as jurors during the trials, and determine the winners based on preparation, arguments and ability to follow court rules.
District and regional competitions will take place through February, and 12 teams will advance to the state championships on March 28-29 in Harrisburg. The state champion will then represent Pennsylvania at the national mock trial finals in Madison, Wisc. in early May.
Funding for the statewide competition is provided by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the PBA.
For more information or to read this year's case visit https:/www.pabar.org/public/yld.