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Our Lady of Mercy Takes Home Mock Trial State Championship

The shoreline school's team, which features students from throughout the area, has won another state title — it's 10th since 2002.

Our Lady of Mercy School was named the winner of the Connecticut State Mock Trial Championship on March 12. Credit: OLM
Our Lady of Mercy School was named the winner of the Connecticut State Mock Trial Championship on March 12. Credit: OLM

A shoreline school's mock trial team, made up of a diverse group of students from several towns throughout the region, has once again earned the right to call themselves "state champs."

Our Lady of Mercy School — a National Blue Ribbon School based in Madison that serves students grades pre-k through 8 — was declared the winner of the Connecticut State Mock Trial Championship on March 12.

The OMS team defeated top contender Weston Middle School in the finals, which took place at the Appellate Court in Hartford.

The rigorous simulated trial experience was presided over by Judges F. Herbert Gruendel, Robert E. Beach, Jr. and Bethany J. Alvord.  

Last week's championship was the final round of of the annual competition, which began in January — and involved 40 schools from throughout Connecticut.

Championship Team

The 2014 winning team includes the following students: 

  • Jessica Abel (East Haven)
  • Colin Call (Guilford)
  • Clemen Cheung (Madison)
  • Emily Connelly (Madison)
  • William Dowler (Madison)
  • Nicholas Ericson (Madison)
  • Katherine Hall (Clinton)
  • Margaret King (Clinton)
  • Jackson Martin (Madison)
  • Isabella Merlini (Chester)
  • Tessa Molloy (Branford)
  • Jaime Murphy (North Branford)
  • Amanda Savona (North Branford)
  • Meghan Tilton (Madison)
  • Amy Ziobron (Westbrook)

Winning Tradition

Nancy Addorisio, the eighth grade teacher at Our Lady of Mercy School, spearheaded the Mock Trial Program at the school in 2002.

Since then, the school has won 10 out of 14 annual statewide competitions. 

In addition to Addorisio, this year students were coached by: Attorney Peter McShane, Attorney Shari Murphy, and Mrs. Lily Molloy, under school principal Sister Carol Sansone.

Mock Trial Program

The Mock Trial Program is an extra-curricular, interscholastic program promoted by Civics First (civicsfirstct.org) that strives to incorporate citizen education in all private and public schools, as it teaches students about the American legal system in a competitive manner, utilizing an actual tried court case. 

The students assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses and compete formally before Connecticut judges that volunteer their time and expertise of the legal system. 

All members of both teams were presented with a Certificate of Recognition from the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch, signed by Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers, in recognition of the excellence required to reach the final round of the state-wide competition.

Observor March 19, 2014 at 01:27 PM
Does this "trail" run through a state park?
Julie Weisberg March 19, 2014 at 01:34 PM
Observor: LOL! Thank you, I just fixed my typo. I have "trail" on my mind, as I have a big 10-mile race through Burlingame State Park coming up this Saturday morning in Rhode Island. And I have the feeling the trail run will be quite a trial for me this weekend. ;0)
rocklandwife March 20, 2014 at 07:23 AM
GREAT JOB!! I know that was a lot of hard work :)
Patti Atwater March 20, 2014 at 09:09 AM
Great job OLM! Proud to be a graduate! Patti Capaldo Atwater
Observor March 20, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Good luck with your race and congratulations to OLM.

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