Every year, the eighth grade students at Academy Prep participate in a long-standing partnership program. Eight lawyers from Ogden & Sullivan, P.A., volunteer over 200 hours of their time each year to share their mediation and litigation expertise with their students.
After a semester of guidance from Ogden & Sullivan lawyers, Academy Prep’s eighth graders took their mock trial case to the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse, which houses the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Although the trial was based on fictional events, the judge presiding over the court was genuine. The Honorable Charles R. Wilson of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, along with a jury of Academy Prep parents and staff, heard the case of a fictional robbery of a convenience store.
The Academy Prep student lawyers representing the defense and the prosecution conducted excellent and persuasive opening statements, direct- and cross-examinations, and closing arguments. Ultimately, the “jury” found defendant “Damon Berryhill” guilty of robbery and defendant “Tom Haden” not guilty of serving as an accomplice getaway driver.
“We are certainly privileged to work with such dedicated and talented students at Academy Prep,” commented Ogden & Sullivan, P.A. lawyer Richard Maselli. “It is our goal during the Mock Trial Program that the students learn about the judicial system and develop skills such as logical thinking, critical analysis and public speaking. These skills are not only important in the legal field but also in many other endeavors in life. The lawyers at Ogden & Sullivan are grateful to Academy Prep for allowing us to be a part of their community partner program. It is clear that Academy Prep is developing dynamic students who are also great kids.”
The Mock Trial program is one of many extraordinary opportunities their students are afforded each year because of the generosity of their volunteers. Click here for more information on other specialty partner programs they offer at Academy Prep.
For more information about Ogden & Sullivan, please visit the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.