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Two KHS students selected to participate in the Model Judiciary VA Supreme Court
Brother and sister Jeremy and Claire Nelson of Kecoughtan High School have been selected to argue an appeal before the Virginia Supreme Court as part of the Model Judiciary program.
Only 24 students (12 pairs) statewide are chosen to advance to this level and they are the first pair to be chosen from the Peninsula since 2009.
Members of the Kecoughtan Youth-in-Government (YIG) club annually participate in the Model Judiciary Program (MJP), where they are given the parameters of a case and take on all of the roles in a trial - lawyers, witnesses, jurors, court officials - with the exception of the judge. They present their case in front of sitting judges in local courtrooms. We are fortunate in that judges from the Hampton General District Court volunteer to hear the cases in their courtrooms and our students compete against other schools and YMCA youth groups from around the region.
After studying these precedents, Jeremy and Claire worked with a local attorney, Dennis McCarthy, to develop their arguments and how to properly present them to the panel. They were given five minutes to make their oral appeal on March 8. Overall there were 12 pairings from Hampton Roads that argued that morning and the panel of judges were able to select the top pairings to move to the Model Supreme Court (MSC) level. This level, which will take place April 29 at the State Supreme Court building in Richmond, brings together a total of 12 pairs to argue their appeals in front of a panel of Supreme Court justices. The primary difference in preparation for the MSC level is that the students will have a combined 10 minutes to argue their appeal. Again, in advance of the hearing they will work with McCarthy to prepare their presentation.
Mark Mingee, teacher and sponsor of YIG, said, “I am very proud of Jeremy and Claire and their work to advance to the Supreme Court level of this program. They have proven themselves to be very intelligent, hard-working, intuitive, and disciplined in their work with the cases they study and the arguments they prepare. I am confident they will be excellent representatives of Kecoughtan when they make their final arguments in front of the state Supreme Court justices. I also trust that Jeremy will use the skills he has refined in this program in his future studies after graduating this year and that Claire will use the same skills as she continues as a member of the Kecoughtan Youth-in-Government club over the next two school years.”
HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000.
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