As part of our continuing Community Partnership with Academy Prep School of Tampa, Florida, attorneys from Ogden & Sullivan, P.A. had the pleasure of working with Academy Prep eighth grade students on a Mock Trial Program that culminated in a mock criminal jury trial on March 24, 2015. The seven 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, P.A. attorneys on a fictional criminal fact scenario case. The students served as the lawyers for either the prosecution or defense teams and performed opening statements, direct and cross examinations and closing arguments.
The mock trial was conducted by the students in an actual courtroom at the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa, Florida. The Honorable Charles R. Wilson of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals graciously agreed to serve once again as the trial judge. Ogden & Sullivan, P.A. attorneys, Tim Sullivan, Richard Maselli, Luis Viera, Stephanie Ritt, David Harvey, Andrew Mallory, Joe George, and Jeff Benson served as the coaches for the students as well as serving as witnesses during the mock trial. During the seven week program, the Academy Prep eighth graders sharpened their speaking and critical thinking skills while learning about the judicial process. Judge Wilson was particularly impressed with the students? performances during the trial. The prosecuting team ultimately prevailed at trial as it obtained hard-fought convictions of both fictional defendants from the jury which was comprised of Academy Prep faculty and family members.
Ogden & Sullivan, P.A.?s Community Partnership with Academy Prep of Tampa is now in its eighth year. 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.