Kittatinny Regional receives award at national mock trial competition

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    SUSSEX COUNTY-Kittatinny Regional High School of Sussex County received the Legal Professionalism Award at the National High School Mock Trial Championship held recently in Orlando, Florida. Currently state champions in the New Jersey State Bar Foundation's 2003-2004 Vincent J. Apruzzese High School Mock Trial Competition, the Kittatinny Regional team competed with teams from 42 other states and two U.S. territories at the national competition. Each school participating in the competition was asked to consider the professionalism, spirit and ethical conduct of the other mock trial teams and recommend one team to receive the professionalism award. Gary A. Kraemer, with the law firm of Daggett, Kraemer, Eliades & VanderWiele in Sparta, who served as one of the team's attorney-coaches, said the students were proud of winning the professionalism award and that it meant even more to them since the honor is voted on by the other mock trial teams. Of the team's award, Kraemer said, "It reflects a lot about how the kids have taken to the mock trial program." After placing first in the New Jersey State Bar Foundation's state competition out of a record 254 teams, members of the Kittatinny Regional team had only a few short weeks to prepare for the competition. The national competition also presents an even greater challenge to the students, who must learn a new case and federal rules of evidence. In this year's national case, environmental activist Fran Lewis is accused of murdering the vice president of The Pinnacle Paper Company of Florida. Lewis had blamed the company for the death of his/her spouse, allegedly for causing air and water pollution along the banks of the Seminole River. New Jersey teams have consistently done well at the national competition, often placing in the top ten and winning the national title twice. In addition to New Jersey, only three other states, Tennessee, Georgia and Arizona, have won the national championship twice. Members of the Kittatinny Regional team include student members Marco Chomut, Kira Grant, Kimberly Kraemer, Sarah Lynch, Molly Motyka, Jill Petty, Whitney Redline, Andrea Santora, Casey Tappan, Megan Wilson and Ellen Woods. The team's teacher-coaches included Eugene McNicholas, Scott Mein and Joseph Santora. Robert A. Mattia, an attorney in Newton, also served as an attorney-coach for the team. Amy Gjelsvik, an attorney with the Law Offices of Arlene Albino in Sparta, Kevin T. Kutyla, an attorney with the law firm of Gruber, Colabella, Liuzza, Kutyla & Ullmann in Newton, and Newton attorney Michael J. Hanifan served as Sussex County mock trial coordinators. Ronald Levitt of the Bridgewater law firm of Golden, Rothschild & Spagnola serves as chair of the Foundation's Mock Trial Committee. Sheila Boro of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation administers the statewide competition.