Elderkin litigator Bob LeSuer served as trial judge in the Region 2, District 2 (or, for Star Wars fans, "R2D2") competition for the Statewide Mock Trial Championship on January 27, 2021. The competition permits high school student teams to argue both sides of a hypothetical case in an actual courtroom setting. This year's fictional trial setting featured a wrongful death claim involving a young entrepreneur whose energy drink business had succeeded wildly, but who was found dead shortly after consuming a chemical prepared for him by a friend and longtime business associate. Was it a lethal concoction intended to remove him from the business, or an effective antidote, allowing him to consume his company's highly-caffeinated energy drinks at public a sales event without negatively affecting his longtime heart condition? Students prepared and presented both sides of this interesting case. For the first time, the trials were held remotely in a "virtual courtroom", due to the pandemic.
This is Bob's tenth consecutive year serving as mock trial judge. "It's very different being on the other side of the bench," said LeSuer, a civil trial attorney. "But I'm always amazed at the preparation and skill exhibited by these young advocates. They are to be commended for the time and effort they put into their cases."
This competition is sponsored statewide by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and involves teams from high schools throughout the state. The annual mock trial program, now in its 37th year, is one of the largest in the nation. The district and regional levels of the competition will continue throughout February and March. The winning team in the state championship will represent Pennsylvania in the national mock trial finals. For more information on the local competition, check out this link: