Friday, June 6, 2014

OBCL Alumni Go to Anaheim!

OBCL Participants: (back row) Amy Kerschner, Michael Kern, Joel Barker,
Chris Schweickert; (front row) Katie Kerschner, Professor Robert Kern

by Amy Kerschner

Last week, several of our alumni traveled to Anaheim, California, to preside over and score the National Homeschool Mock Trial Association Tournament. We had alumni in Pre-Trial and Trial rounds, scoring, presiding, and providing feedback to the next generation of attorneys, pastors, paralegals, journalists, authors, actors and advocates. The level of talent displayed in the two-day tournament was truly impressive!
Judge Amy Kerschner

Amy Kerschner presided and scored in the Trial rounds. Each trial was strictly limited to two hours for both sides to present their cases, examine and cross-examine witnesses, make and argue objections, present evidence, and demonstrate proper courtroom procedure. The prosecution brought charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism against the defendant, a health-food blogger suspected of bombing an industrial food plant with the help of an activist, who unfortunately died before trial.
Judge Katie Kerschner

Katie Kerschner presided and scored in the Pre-Trial rounds. Student attorneys argued on a defense motion to suppress testimonial evidence under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. Each student was expected to respond to questions from the bench regarding weaknesses in their case and case precedent that would damage their arguments.
Chris Schweickert with student

Joel Barker and Chris Schweickert also scored in both Trial and Pre-Trial rounds, giving valuable feedback and insight to students both for their progress in the tournament and for the success of their future legal careers.

Jury panel for the Championship Round

OBCL Professor Robert Kern and Michael Kern, a graduate of OBCL, participated in the Championship round. Michael scored in the jury box, along with Amy and Katie, and Professor Kern was on the three-judge panel for the Pre-Trial motion and scored as a part of the Trial round. 

It was an honor to watch these high school students demonstrate passion and dedication to their mock trial competition. Oak Brook College of Law was the top sponsor for the tournament, awarding $28,000 in scholarships to the top Trial and Pre-Trial attorneys. It is hoped that these students will use these scholarships to further their legal education and put their passions and talents to use in the legal profession.