On March 25, 2014, at the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse, Ogden & Sullivan, P.A. attorneys coached three mock trial teams from the Academy Prep Center of Tampa in a mock Criminal trial. After several weeks of hands on preparation in the classroom led by Ogden & Sullivan, P.A. attorneys, eighth graders from Academy Prep assumed the roles of lawyers by examining witnesses, giving opening statements and closing arguments.
The mock criminal trial focused on fictional robbery charges against two fictional defendants. One defendant, "Damon Barryhill," claimed duress. The other defendant, "Tom Hayden," claimed he had no knowledge of the crime and was merely an unknowing getaway driver. The jury comprised of Academy Prep faculty and parents found Damon Barryhill guilty and Tom Hayden not guilty after their deliberations.
The mock trial was designed by Ogden & Sullivan, P.A. lawyers to introduce the Academy Prep eighth graders to trial advocacy and the judicial system as a whole. In its sixth year, the program teaches students to analyze facts and develop persuasive arguments to a jury. The participating students will graduate from Academy Prep this Spring and attend college preparatory schools throughout Tampa and the country next year.
The mock trial program is part of the ongoing volunteer commitment by Ogden & Sullivan, P.A. to Academy Prep, 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, you can visit their website at: http://academyprep.org/tampa/
Our participating attorneys: Tim Sullivan, Richard Maselli, Melissa Daley, Stephanie Ritt, Luis Viera, David Harvey, Jeffrey Benson, Geogymon "Joe" George, and Andrew Mallory.