Attorneys from Ogden, Sullivan & O'Connor, P.A. had the pleasure of working with Academy Prep eighth grade students on a Mock Trial Program that culminated with a mock criminal jury trial on March 9, 2010. The six week program was designed to introduce Academy Prep students to the jury trial process. As part of the program, Academy Prep students worked closely with Ogden, Sullivan & O'Connor attorneys on a fictional criminal case. Students practiced and performed various roles within the trial for either the prosecution or defense including opening statements, direct and cross examinations and closing arguments.
The mock trial was conducted by the students at the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse in Tampa, Florida. The Honorable Lisa D. Campbell of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit presided over the trial. The students previously had the opportunity to meet Judge Campbell at a Judicial Roundtable Meeting involving Academy Prep students earlier in the school year. Judge Campbell, attorneys from Ogden, Sullivan & O'Connor and volunteer jurors were thoroughly impressed with the students' performances in an actual courtroom setting. In the end, the jury returned a conviction as to one of the Defendants and an acquittal as to the other Defendant.
Ogden, Sullivan & O'Connor, P.A. attorneys, Tim Sullivan, Reba Abraham, Victoria McCloskey, Luis Viera, Phil Foley, Jay Spengler, Melissa Daley, Richard Maselli, Dereck Capaz, Jere Tolton, III and Anthony Duran served as the coaches for the students as well as witnesses during the mock trial. The participating Academy Prep students thoroughly enjoyed not only learning about the jury trial process but also performing the essential aspects of a jury trial.
Academy Prep is a non-profit, fifth through eighth grade middle school which operates 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, nearly year round. To learn more about Academy Prep, please visit their web site at http://academyprep.org/tampa/