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For the first time, Alexander advances to Mock Trials regional competition

By Howard B. Owens


Alice Calmes shared this information:

Typically the teams would start preparing in early December when the NYS BAR Association releases the case. However, due to Covid guidelines, the school didn't allow extracurricular activities to start until Feb 22.

At that time, the four returning members recruited four more members, assigned roles, and started working on opening and closing statements, questions for direct and cross, and memorizing affidavits.

The initial round of competitions for them started March 8th and they went 4-0 advancing straight to the semifinals due to a bye in the quarter-finals from being in first place at the end of the initial rounds. A win against Attica High School sent them to the finals against Oakfield-Alabama on Wednesday night.

Both matches were hard-fought, with Alexander beating Oakfield-Alabama in both.

Many of the students had to take a role on both the plaintiff and defense sides, which added to the difficulty of such a short preparation time.

The team consists of: senior -- Erin Hess, a first-year member; juniors -- Shawn Calmes, Katarina Luker, Imogene Plitt and Anna "Annie" Slenker -- all returning members, and Dana Morelli, a first-year member; and freshmen -- Olivia Burkhardt and Holly Bykowski, first-year members.

The team is led by Advisor -- Johnny Lucas, a History teacher at Alexander, and Jane Schmeider, their lawyer advisor.

Erin, Shawn, Katarina, Imogene and Annie are all doubling up on plaintiff and defense.

Photo submitted by Alice Calmes. Not all team members were available at the time this photo was taken and they won't be until after spring break. In the photo are Annie, Holly, Erin, Mr. Lucas, Shawn Calmes, Olivia, Katarina and Imogene (missing is Dana).

For previous mock trial coverage, click here.

Pembroke High School wins mock trials competition

By Howard B. Owens


Pembroke High School took first place, beating Byron-Bergen in the finals yesterday, in the regional Mock Trial competition.

The final was held in the Orleans County Courthouse with Michael Rivers presiding.

Pembroke team members: Kassandra Sanner, Matthew Reeb, Eli Fox, Seth Librock, Tyler Wood, Bethany Zwolinski, Sophia Zwolinski, Aiden Costich, Rachel Tebor and Theodore Pintabona.

The Byron-Bergen team members: Nathan Knickerbocker, Shaun LoVerdi, Jared Fregoe, Michael Caruso, Reanne Dressler, Rebecca Johnson and Hannah VanSkiver.

Advisors: Marian Gerhardy and Donna McJury; Attorney Advisor: Jake Whiting.








Batavia wins mock trial tournament

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia beat Notre Dame Wednesday night at the area finals of the mock trials tournament and will move onto the regional finals.

Batavia took round 1 55-50 and round 2 60-53.

The Region 1 tournament is in Erie County April 17-19.

UPDATE: Pictures added from Jim Burns.

Batavia, Notre Dame advance to mock trials finals

By Howard B. Owens

Photos by Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub.

Batavia and Notre Dame will meet in the mock trials finals tomorrow after securing victories in the semifinals Monday evening in the Orleans County Courthouse.

Batavia went 2-0, 113 points to 110 points, against Attica. Notre Dame was 1-1, but with 109 points to 106 points against Avon.

In the top photo, Dylan Beckman serves as an attorney for the team from Batavia and questions a witness.

Amanda Conrad, a witness for Attica, responds to questioning from Becca Canale, an attorney for Batavia.

Becca Canale was one of the attorneys for Batavia. She presents her closing argument to Chad Murray, the judge for the competition.

Madhu Vihani, a lawyer for the Attica team, presents documents to the team from Batavia.

Nic Culver, of Medina, a freshman at Notre Dame, was a witness for his team.

Four teams advance to the mock trial semi-finals in Orleans County

By Julia Ferrini

The annual mock trial competition continued last night at the Wyoming County Courthouse, Warsaw. The winners advance to the next round.

In round one Batavia earned 63 points while Dansville scored 46. Pembroke came away with 47 points, narrowly beating Attica which ended with 46 points. 

Round two named Batavia the winner a second time with 52 points and Dansville earning 29. Attica was named the victor over Pembroke in round two – Attica earned 49 points, while Pembroke earned 41.

Total cumulative points for the winners:

• Attica – 307

• Batavia – 347

• Avon – 308

• Notre Dame – 302

Attica, Batavia, Avon and Notre Dame all advance to the semi-finals held March 23 at the Orleans County Courthouse. The finals will be held March 25 at the Genesee County Courthouse, Batavia.

Avon and Notre Dame advance in mock trials competition

By Howard B. Owens

Avon and Notre Dame won their matches in the mock trials quarterfinals held at the Genesee County Courthouse on Monday night.

In round 1, Avon beat Medina 47-40, and Notre Dame beat Perry 49-48. In round 2, Avon topped Media 52-48 and Notre Dame overcame Perry 51-45.

Avon is now 6-0 with 308 points and Notre Dame is 6-0 with 302 points.

The second set of quarterfinals will be held Wednesday at the Genesee County Courthouse.

The semi-finals will be March 23 at the Orleans County Courthouse; the finals are March 25 at the Genesee County Courthouse.

CORRECTION: Tonight's quarterfinals are in Wyoming County.

Eight teams seeded for quarterfinals of mock trials after second preliminary rounds

By Howard B. Owens

The annual Mock Trial Competition is under way and a set of preliminary rounds were completed last night at the Genesee County Courthouse.

Scores last night: Attica over Elba, 49-44; Attica over Albion, 55-51; Pembroke over Alexander, 54-49; Batavia over Byron-Bergen, 59-56; Pembroke over Attica, 51-50; Attica over Alexander, 58-57; Batavia over Albion, 54-50; Byron-Bergen over Elba, 54-53

A preliminary round was held last week at the Wyoming County Courthouse, with another seven teams competing.

The standings after the two preliminary rounds (top eight teams move on to quarterfinals Monday and Wednesday at the Genesee County Courthouse and the Wyoming County Courthouse):

  • Batavia, 4-0, 232 points
  • Avon, 4-0, 209 points
  • Notre Dame, 4-0, 202 points
  • Pembroke, 4-0, 200 points
  • Attica, 3-1, 212 points
  • Perry, 2-2, 203 points
  • Medina, 2-2, 190 points
  • Dansville, 2-2, 183 points
  • Alexander, 1-3, 208 points
  • Byron-Bergen, 1-3, 202 points
  • Elba, 1-3, 186 points
  • Albion, 0-4, 197 points
  • Oakfield-Alabama, 0-4, 174 points
  • York, 0-4, 174 points

The semi-finals will be March 23 at the Orleans County Courthouse; the finals are March 25 at the Genesee County Courthouse.

Attica and Byron-Bergen advance to finals in mock trial competition

By Howard B. Owens

Attica and Byron-Bergen won semifinal rounds of the mock trial competition held in Wyoming County Court, in Warsaw, on Monday night.

All four teams were 1-1.  Here's the point totals:

Attica - 120 points
Byron-Bergen – 119 points
Batavia – 113 points
Pembroke - 112 points

The finals are tomorrow, 5 p.m., in the Genesee County Courthouse.

To purchase prints, click here.

Four teams advance to semi-finals of mock trial competition

By Howard B. Owens

The quarter finals of the GLOW-region mock trials were held Wednesday night in the Genesee County Courthouse.

The winners were:

  • Batavia, 2-0 with 121 points
  • Byron-Bergen, 2-0 with 108 points
  • Attica, 1-1 with 112 points
  • Pembroke, 1-1 with 104 points

The semi-finals are Monday in the Wyoming County Courthouse. The cases start at 5 p.m.

The case this year involves a lawsuit filed by a farmer over nearby hydrofracking.

To purchase prints, click here.

Batavia comes up one point short in regional Mock Trials final

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia High School lost to Frewsburg, out of Chautauqua County, 51-50, this afternoon in the final of Regional Mock Trials Tournament.

Both teams were 1-1 in the finals, presided over by Eugene F. Pigott Jr., associate judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.

Frewsburg will compete in the state championship rounds in Albany.

It's the first time in the 31-year history of the tournament that a team from neither Monroe County nor Erie County will represent WNY and the Southern Tier region, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

The morning's semifinal rounds were close, with all four teams going 1-1. Batavia and Frewsburg advanced with 117 points each. Pittsford Mendon and Clarence had 116 points each.

Judge Robert C. Noonan and Judge Eric R. Adams presided over the morning rounds.

The Batavia team for 2013: Katie Porter, Elena Chmielowiec, Trey Abdella
McKenzie Stevens, Becca Canale, Eric DiLaura, Cara Ranalli, Katie Kesler, Kaitlin Logsdon, Matt Gabriel, Bryce Rogers, Danielle Quinn, Beth Bennion, Brandon Smart, Samir Jane, Dylan Beckman, Chelsea Jensen, Adam Weaver and Alex Mott.

The Frewsburg team: Sarah Moller, Samantha Mann, Tera Anderson, Alanna Blanchard, Jesse Ernewein, Anthony Mole and Morgan Knight.

Regional Mock Trial Tournament scheduled in Batavia for April 20

By Howard B. Owens

The 2013 Regional Mock Trial Tournament will be held Saturday, April 20, in the Genesee County Courthouse with four teams competing for the regional title.

The first trials are at 9 a.m., are free and open to the public.

Round one will pit Frewsburg vs. Clarence and Batavia vs. Pittsford Mendon. In the second round, Batavia will go against Clarence and Pittsford Mendon will square off with Frewsburg.

The top two teams will advance to the final round, which will start at 1 p.m.

Judges will be Eugene F. Pigott Jr., who sits on the NYS Court of Appeals (the highest court in the state), Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan and Family Court Judge Eric R. Adams.

Batavia and Pembroke tie in Mock Trials final, with Batavia advancing on tiebreaker

By Howard B. Owens

It took a tiebreaker, but Batavia High School came out on top in the 2013 GLOW-region Mock Trial Tournament.

In Monday's final round, held in Warsaw, Batavia and Pembroke each scored 110 points in two simultaneous trials.

The plaintiff sides for both teams won their respective trials, making both teams 1-1 on the evening.

Wyoming County Court Judge Michael F. Griffith presided over one trial and and attorney Michael M. Mohun presided over the second.

The tiebreaker came down to Batavia scoring 114 points in the semifinal round to 90 for Pembroke.

The case involved a lawsuit by a student who accused a technical, private college of not providing the education and opportunities promised prior to his/her enrollment.

The photos are from Mohun's courtroom with Pembroke on the plaintiff side and Batavia on defense.

For Pembroke: Ben Reiner, Brandon Kohorst and Erik Schoenecker were plaintiff attorneys and Cody Zajaczkowski, Karen Glomb and Bryan Cox were witnesses.

The defense attorneys for Batavia: Trey Abdella, Danielle Quinn, McKenzie Stevens; the witnesses: Eric DiLaura, Cara Ranalli, Katie Kesler.

Batavia advances to the regional tournament, which will be held in the Genesee County Courthouse this year. The date, yet to be determined, will be one of the last two Saturdays in April.

To purchase prints, click here.

Batavia and Pembroke come out on top in semi-finals of Mock Trial tournament

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia High School beat Alexander on Wednesday evening in a Mock Trial competition held in the Livingston County Courthouse and will move on to the area final competition Monday in Warsaw.

Batavia will face Pembroke, who beat Byron-Bergen.

The four teams squared off in two-round competitions, with each side trying a case once as the plaintiff and once as the defense.

Batavia won both rounds against Alexander, scoring 114 points to Alexander's 105.

Pembroke also won both sides, with a score of 90 points against 82 for Byron-Bergen.

The case this year is a civil suit between a computer student who feels a private college offering programing degrees misled him about the quality of education he/she would receive and the prospects for employment post-graduation.

The cases were presided over by Livingston County Court judges Robert Wiggins and Thomas Moran.

The photos are from the first round between Batavia and Alexander, with Batavia in the plaintiff role and Alexander on defense.

Batavia's plaintiff team: Kaitlin Logsdon, Matt Gabriele and Beth Bennon as attorneys and Brandon Smart, Dylan Beckman and Chelsea Jensen as witnesses. Alexander's defense attorneys were Kaeleigh Bean, Felicia Rynkowski and Deven Blowers, with witnesses Audrey Browne, Evelyn Aubrey, Katie Wolfley and Karl Kunze (on both sides).

On defense for Batavia were Trey Abdella, McKenzie Stevens and Danielle Quinn, with witnesses Eric Dilaura, Katie Keiser and Cara Randall. Alexander's plaintiff attorneys were Russell Brinkman, Justin Zito and Samantha James.


To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

Students from eight area schools make it to Mock Trials quarter finals

By Howard B. Owens

High school students from throughout the area were in the Genesee County Courthouse on Monday evening for the annual Mock Trial competition.

The results of the quarter-final round are not yet available because Dansville and Hornell were on travel restrictions because of weather. Those two schools are expected to meet at another location today.

Participating last night were Attica, Byron-Bergen, Batavia, Alexander, Pembroke and Le Roy.

The photos here are from Pembroke vs. Le Roy's first match (each team runs through the mock case as both the plaintiff and defense, scoring points on each side).

For Pembroke on Monday, the team was Erik Schoenecker, Brandon Kohorst and Ben Reiner as plaintiff attorneys. Their witnesses were Bryan Cox, Sabrina Sanner and Karen Glomb. In the second round, the defense was Christian Burns, Eva Reda-Kendrick and Jutsin Sformo. Their witnesses were Kayla Underwood, Jenna Lawson and Alison Reiner.

For Le Roy, on the defense side were Chris Trend, Danielle Branton and Sydney Chester as attorneys, and Sam Platt, Bailey Kennedy and Meghan Slocum as witnesses. The plaintiff attorneys were Emily Henderson, Dan Matthews and Verneeda Peete with witnesses Chris Trand, Eliza Harvey and Danielle Branton.

The case this year involves a student who enrolled in a technical community college and claims the school misrepresented the qualifications of the professors, the quality of the instruction, the availability of internships, the ability to find qualified employment and the nature of employment graduates actually obtained. The school is also affiliated with a student loan company that is apparently not fully disclosed and other financing options are not offered to students (though others are available). 

The semi-final rounds will be in Geneseo on Wednesday and the finals in Warsaw next Monday.

The regional finals, as happens every four years, will be in Batavia this year.

Parents, to purchase prints of these photos to ensure you have them for years to come, click here.

Pembroke takes mock trial title

By Howard B. Owens

After a couple of brushes with victory in the past couple of years, Pembroke's mock trial team finally came out on top, beating Attica on Monday evening in a match at the Genesee County Courthouse.

Pembroke scored 111 points in the two-trial match.

Judge Robert C. Noonan presided over the cases.

Pembroke will now move onto the regional competition at a time and place yet to be announced.

The Pembroke team is Patrick Burns, Dean Cullinan, Cale Fryer, Rachel Seweryniak, Joelle Fugle, Brett Jones, Andrew Reynolds, Brandon Kohorst, Ben Reiner, Christian Burn, Justin Sformo, Eva Reda-Kenrick, Sabrina Sanner and Karen Glomb.

The Attica team is Thomas Finnagan III, Cassandra McCulloch, Breanna Donnelly, Evan Reisdorf, Devin Tidwell, Naomi Lampke, Lauren Beatalan, Madison Cook, Kathrine Dusterhus and Hollie Seipel.

If you're unable to view the slide show, click here. To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

Pembroke and Attica advance to area finals in Mock Trial Tournament

By Howard B. Owens

Pembroke eked out a narrow victory over Notre Dame in the semifinals of the Mock Trial Tournament Wednesday.

The four remaining teams faced off in Warsaw.

While Pembroke won on points against Notre Dame (101 to 99), splitting the match 1-1, Attica beat Warsaw handily, 124 to 88, taking both sides (prosecution and defense) of the match.

Pembroke and Attica will square off at 5:30 p.m., Monday, in the Genesee County Courthouse with Judge Robert C. Noonan on the bench.

Which ever team wins Monday, it will be the first time in the history of the local tournament that a team other than Batavia won. Batavia went 1-3 in early competition and was knocked out before the quarterfinals.

The photos in this post are of the Notre Dame and Pembroke teams.

Notre Dame team members: Meghan Zickl, Anneliese Aliasso, Andrew Fischer, Matthew Sausher, Kendra Wall, John Lapple, Ariana Aliasso, Rosalie Mortellaro, Jake Krajewski, Brittany Perzia, Caleb Nellis, James Spear, Anna Arner, Natalie Mouton, Katie Fischer, Andrew Cheverie and Rosemary Fulmerfeld.

Pembroke team members: Dean Cullinan, Patrick Burns, Joelle Fugle, Cale Fryer, Rachel Seweryniak, Andrew Renolds, Brett Jones, Brandon Kohorst, Bea Reiner, Christian Burns, Eva Reda-Kenrick, Karen Globm, Justin Sformo and Sabrina Sanner.

Previously: Batavia knocked out of Mock Trial Tournament early; four teams left to vie for title

If you're unable to view the slide show, click here. To purchase prints of these photos (parents, you can't get these photos anywhere else), click here.

Batavia knocked out of Mock Trial Tournament early; four teams left to vie for title

By Howard B. Owens

A team other than Batavia High School has a chance to win the 2012 Mock Trial Competition for the Genesee area, and following a quarter-final round Monday night, four teams are left, including two from Genesee County.

Those remaining are Pembroke, Notre Dame, Attica and Warsaw. They will compete at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Warsaw County Courthouse.

It's the first time in the nine-year history of the competition that Batavia won't be among the semi-finalists.

In fact, the team that wins this year will be the first team in nine years not from Batavia to win.

The Blue Devils failed to even make the quarter finals.

A first-time quarterfinalist, however, was Pavilion, which had never won a trial before this year.

Pavilion has two new coaches -- Thomas A. Burns, a Batavia-based attorney, and Assistant District Attorney William Zickl Kevin T. Finnell.

The 2012 case involves an assault at a nightclub. The victim and the suspect were known to each other prior to the night of the attack. The victim bumped into the alleged attacker and spilled his/her drink. The suspect gave, according to witnesses, "a look that could kill." The victim was struck on the back of the head. The victim did not see the face of his/her attacker, but he/she believes he/she recognized the voice of the attacker singing a rap song about hitting a person on the head with a crowbar. The arresting officer is an admittedly rogue cop who works alone and uses his/her own investigative techniques. The cop previously Tasered and arrested the suspect on a case that was thrown out and for which the cop was disciplined and denied a promotion.

It's apparently a tough case for the prosecuting teams to win.

In mock trials, however, points are awarded on a number of factors and it's possible for the prosecution to lose the case but win on points, or conversely, the defense can lose the case and win on points.

The photos are of the Pavilion and Notre Dame teams.

Pavilion Team members: Joshua Yunke, Mackenzie Grasso, Tiffani Bragg, Hannah Smart, Gabrielle Henry, Heather Stefan, Austin Wolcott, Alexis Boundry and Sara Thompson.

Notre Dame team members: Meghan Zickl, Anneliese Aliasso, Andrew Fischer, Matthew Sausher, Kendra Wall, John Lapple, Ariana Aliasso, Rosalie Mortellaro, Jake Krajewski, Brittany Perzia, Caleb Nellis, James Spear, Anna Arner, Natalie Mouton, Katie Fischer, Andrew Cheverie and Rosemary Fulmerfeld.

Judges in the pictures are Eric, Adams, Jerry Ader and Micahel Mohun. Also judging during the quarter finals was William Zickl.

The finals will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Genesee County Courthouse with Judge Robert C. Noonan on the bench.

If you're unable to view the slide show, click here. To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

Batavia High's Mock Trial team falls short in regional matches

By Howard B. Owens

The Mock Trial season is over for Batavia High School.

The nine-time local champs lost its two regional tournament matches in Mayville on April 28.

The team tied with Brighton in the first round, but the judge gave the discretionary point to Brighton.

In the second round, Batavia lost to Erie County's Sacred Heart by one point.

Sacred Heart went on to beat Brighton in the final round to grab the regional crown and a spot in the state finals later this month.

Batavia comes out on top in mock trial competition

By Howard B. Owens

It came down to a tie breaker, but Batavia renewed it's crown as local mock trial champions following a match Thursday in Warsaw.

Warsaw and Batavia tied at 1-1 and 111 points each in Thursday's match, but because Batavia had the better record in the semi-finals, Batavia was named the winner.

Batavia was 2-0 in the semi-finals and Warsaw was 1-1.

A date for the regional mock trial competition has not been announced yet.

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