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Swansboro High School Mock Trial

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Swansboro High School is back competing in the North Carolina High School Mock Trial program for the 2016-2017 season.  This program, created by the Carolina Center for Civic Education and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice puts students in actual courtrooms trying a fictitious case.  Students, in teams of eight, learn the rules and procedures of the legal system while becoming the lawyers and witnesses in a trial against competing high schools and judged by legal professionals.  While it is an intense intellectual competition requiring hours of hard work and preparation, it is a very rewarding experience for students and advisors. Students need not necessarily by interested in law to participate, but many grow to appreciate the legal system in the process. Mock Trial promotes public speaking skills, encourages creativity and fosters sportsmanship in a fun, interactive and challenging environment.


2015 Case Summary:


Justin Burke, a minor child and the only son of Sydney Burke, sustained serious injuries on June 26, 2014, while attending the ForensiTech forensic science camp at Eden University in Eden, Utopia. On June 25 camp counselor River Forrest led Justin and the other students in River’s evening activity group on an off-campus hike to a location River had not previously visited. The group became lost and ended up spending the night on a mountain. Around 3:00 a.m. on June 26, Justin awoke in a confused state, fell down the mountain, and struck his head. As a result, Justin sustained a spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia and a serious concussion leading to long-term impairment. Justin has filed a lawsuit against ForensiTech, Inc., arguing that the company was grossly negligent in sending the students on a hike to an unfamiliar location and is therefore liable for the damages which he sustained. The Defendant denies gross negligence, claiming no negligence or, at worst, ordinary negligence. The Defendant also claims that Justin’s own actions in hiding his Type I diabetes from the camp staff led to his confusion and ensuing injuries.



The 2013-2014 Mock Trial team placed third in the regional competition and took home an additional 3 awards. We're looking forward to another successful year and a trip to the State Competition.


Purpose: to educate North Carolina High School students about our system of justice and trial by jury by turning courtrooms into classrooms and connecting students with attorneys and judges in the hands-on learning laboratory of the courthouse. The impact of this program far exceeds the courtroom, however, building analytical, writing, and public speaking skills which go hand in hand with confidence, teamwork, leadership and other building blocks for success in whatever vocation students choose to pursue.


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