Huntington High School’s perennially powerful mock trial team is still in a welcoming mode. The Blue Devil courtroom warriors are inviting new members to join the fold and have fun competing against Suffolk high schools in exciting legal battles.
Huntington has annually produced one of the best teams in the county and state. Despite regularly graduating some of its brightest stars, the Blue Devils always seem to find a way to stay among the elite.
All of that said, there are still various spots for newcomers to fill so every new face will be welcomed by the team’s veterans, faculty advisors and legal mentors.
Now in its eighth year of existence, the Huntington courtroom team is expected to again challenge for top county honors. 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.
Participating teams have a schedule of four regular season matches before the top 16 enter the Suffolk 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.”
Students 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.
The home courtroom for the Blue Devils is the high school’s Heritage Museum room. The stage has been outfitted with custom made courtroom furniture. It’s there that Huntington’s legal eagles work their magic year in and year out. This year is no different.
During a recent early season work session, the group began reviewing strategy and skills. The returning veterans and some of the newcomers already on the roster looked especially sharp.
Then Huntington High School senior Justin LoTurco founded Huntington’s mock trial program during the 2014/15 school year. The team’s first victory came in February 2015 when it toppled Mattituck. The Blue Devils have enjoyed remarkable success since then, claiming a county championship and placing third in the state finals.
Local attorneys Xavier Palacios and John LoTurco have volunteered an enormous number of hours over the years to working with the team several times a week during the season to whip them into shape for their trials.
Faculty advisors Suzie Biagi and Greg Dieterich help coordinate the team’s activities and handle important behind the scenes details.
Interested in learning more about Huntington’s mock trial program or ready to sign-on as a team member? Send an email message to either Ms. Biagi (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr. Dieterich (email@example.com) to start the ball rolling.