The Bob Jones Academy (BJA) Middle School participated in the South Carolina Bar Association Middle School Regional Mock Trial Tournament Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Greenville County Courthouse. BJA received a wild card bid to advance to the 2019 State Middle School Mock Trial Competition Dec. 6 - 7.
“The SC Bar’s Middle School Mock Trial Program embodies the best of real-world critical thinking skills,” said the team’s faculty advisor, Chuck Nicholas. “The students research a fact pattern, work together to develop a theory of the case and strategies to implement, and then execute their plan in a highly competitive environment.”
Nicholas is assisted by Bob Jones University students Ryan Parimi and Elaina Goodman. BJA grad and local attorney Ruth Hindman DiPasquale is the attorney coach for the team.
The competition was held by regions across the state of South Carolina with 42 schools participating. Fourteen teams were chosen to advance to the championship to compete for the state title.
By a vote of the competing schools at the Greenville regional competition, the BJA team won the prestigious Professionalism and Civility Award, which recognizes qualities such as professional demeanor, civility, integrity, honesty, fair play, and respect for others. This is the second time BJA has been a recipient of the award since its inception.
Individual students were recognized for outstanding performances during the trials in which they competed. Alyssa Autry, Jacob Chisholm, Zac Goodman and Madigan Lawlor (2 awards) won “Best Attorney” awards. Jonas Barker, Tara Godwin (3 awards) and Macon Smith won “Best Witness” awards. These students won recognition at the tournament by the vote of their peers or by vote of the adult judges winning 10 out of 12 awards.
The BJA team consisted of fourteen members including Alyssa Autry, Jacob Chisholm, Abby Cruver, AJ Meissner and Seth Orr from Greenville. Jonas Barker, Stephanie Brodsky, Tara Godwin, Zac Goodman, Macon Smith, Mikayla Sprout and Antonia Vlad are residents of Taylors. Drew Huntsman and Madigan Lawlor are residents of Piedmont and Simpsonville, respectively.