Huntington High School's mock trial team is currently undefeated (4)

Huntington Mock Trial Team Stays Perfect

Huntington High School's mock trial team is currently undefeated.

March 7, 2018

The Huntington High School mock trial team won its third consecutive match without a loss, toppling Miller Place in a lively battle.

The victory was especially satisfying since Miller Place had knocked Huntington out of last year’s county playoffs. The Blue Devils have an aggressive and experienced courtroom team.

Huntington defeated St. Anthony’s and powerful William Floyd earlier in the season. The Blue Devils are scheduled to go head to head with Deer Park this week.

Local attorneys and Huntington alums Xavier Palacios and Jack Piana are the team’s legal advisors. Sarah Buckhalter and Suzie Biagi are the squad’s faculty advisors.

To turn back the stiff challenge posed by Miller Place required Huntington’s courtroom warriors to be on top of their game; and they were.

“Right from the start we could tell it was going to be a competitive battle, but attorneys John Panos, Max Robins and Alyssa Befumo were up for the challenge,” Ms. Buckhalter said. “Our witnesses played by Claudia Villatoro, Riley Tucker and Lena Annunziata put on another stellar performance.

This year’s exceptionally strong lineup includes:

Defense Team:

1. John Panos
2. Alyssa Befumo
3. Max Robins
1. Claudia Villatoro as Carson Connors
2. Riley Tucker and Rory Boccelli as Dr. Avery Johnson
3. Lena Annunziata as Billie Jo Stapleton

Prosecution Team:

1. Lia Shecter
2. Alyssa Befumo
3. Max Robins
1. Melissa Lopez as Lauren Smith
2. Isabella Floro as Dr. Sidney Crosby
3. Joseph Mead and Ana Diaz as Officer Bobbie Jones

Suffolk mock trial teams have a schedule of four regular season matches before entering the county tournament. Teams across New York follow a similar path along the way to determining a state champion.

The New York State Bar Assn. Foundation believes the mock trial program “teaches students ethics, civility and professionalism; furthers students’ understanding of the law, court procedures and the legal system; improves proficiency in basic life skills, such as listening, speaking, reading and reasoning; promotes better communication and cooperation among the school community, teachers and students and members of the legal profession, and; heightens appreciation for academic studies and stimulate interest in law-related careers.”

Participants learn about the rule of law; rules of evidence; proper courtroom decorum; legal terminology and civic responsibility and attitude. Participation “fosters” respect for the law and the legal system and an ability to view an issue from differing viewpoints.

Now in its fourth year of existence, the Huntington courtroom program has rapidly developed into one of the best on Long Island.

The mock trial competition is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association Foundation. The initiative seeks to enhance participant’s public speaking skills and inspire some to consider a legal career.

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