Mock trial planned

In April, a mock trial competition will be held on campus, the focus of which is whether or not the United States Patriot Act infringes on a client’s First and Sixth Amendment rights.

The trial is open to all students, but geared towards those who have taken undergraduate law courses on campus.

“Those who have taken legal writing in the English department or legal research and writing in the political science department will have a special advantage,” said Dr. Ramona Brockett, a professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice.

The mock trial competition will consist of a qualifying process followed later by semi-final and final rounds.

The semi-finals will be held on April 4 with the finals taking place a week later on April 11. The mock trial event will be held in the mock trial room at Salmon P. Chase College of Law. It will last from 6-9 p.m. both nights.

There will also be a special session for undergraduate students wishing to learn how to do legal research in order to write a brief. Details will be announced at a later date.

“It is important that students understand how to write a legal document in order to enter this competition,” Brockett said.

Each team will be required to argue for and against the constitutionality of the U.S. Patriot Act.

A nine-member panel, playing the role of the United States Supreme Court, will judge the competition. The panel will be comprised of local lawyers and professors, including two senior partners at a Cincinnati law firm and a Kentucky prosecutor.

“For students interested in pursuing law, entering a mock trial competition is great for their academic records,” said Brockett

Raed Shalabi, president of Phi Alpha Delta, will enter the competition.

Shalabi, a senior majoring in criminal justice, feels that “the mock trial competition is a great way to gain experience in the field of law as well as the chance to get to meet individuals that are going to be at the competitions such as deans of law schools and partners in law firms.”

Attending law school in the fall, Shalabi sees the mock trial competition as a chance to gain hands-on experience in the study of law that would otherwise be impossible until law school.

“NKU students should be interested in the mock trial event because it is one of, if not the best learning experiences that NKU students can participate in, ” he said.

There will be a meeting on Feb. 19 for all interested persons in Landrum Hall Room 413.

Anyone wishing to participate in the mock trial competition should attend this meeting where they will receive the necessary packets of information. If unable to attend, interested students should see Dr. Brockett in her office, LA 217L, by Feb. 26 to pick up their information packets.

The event is being co-sponsored by Phi Alpha Delta, the new legal fraternity on campus, and the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice.