AMHS News Today
Archbishop Murphy Mock Trial Takes 4th Place at State Meet
OLYMPIA, March 26, 2017: In a courageous effort by a large group of young students, Archbishop Murphy's Varsity mock trial team finished in 4th place at the Washington State high school mock trial championship at the Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia on March 24-26, 2017.
AMHS finished with a 3-1 record in their four trials, winning 10 out of 12 ballots throughout the tournament.
24 teams had moved on from various District Competitions to make it to State. About 350 students participated as lawyers and witnesses.
The 2017 State case, crafted by King County Superior Court Judge William Downing, involved a manslaughter charge against a Google-like company that was testing a self-driving car. It was inspired by the modern developments in artificial intelligence and self-driving car technology. In the case, the driver of a prototype self-driving car, Isaac Arias, crashes into an Amish-like mule-drawn cart. The company was being fictitiously "prosecuted" for reckless or negligent conduct that failed to protect the deceased driver.
Many AMHS students received recognition at the awards banquet. Earning best witness awards were Hillary Longoria, Anthony Damitio, Elizabeth Mayans, Hannah Snider, and Alexi Obillo. Best lawyer awards were earned by Hannah Lukomski, Lucas Dini, Anthony Damitio, AJ de Leon, and Alisa Das. The team also benefited from strong performances turned in by witnesses Emily Leiker and Sean Murray, attorney Drew Carlton, and bailiff Grace Lefcourt.
This year's finish marks the 5th top-4 ranking in the last 7 years for AMHS. The exciting season included an 11th place finish at the Empire Mock Trial Invitational in San Francisco, a District Championship, and a fantastic weekend of bonding and fun at the State Meet including a tour of the Washington State Supreme Court. The program began in 2005.
The program benefits from strong support from parent volunteers, recent alumni, and local attorneys---they use their skill as attorneys, drama coaches, mock trial devotees and donors to bring out the best in the 30 students enrolled in the program. The "official" coaches at State were Roger Brodniak, Susan Bolles, Brett Carlton, Jennifer Flynn, Kari Petrasek and Natalie Schmidt. Key assistant coaches included Chris Damitio, Jessica Ness, and Judge Ken Wililiams. Much thanks to parents Joyce Dini and Helen Damitio for their help at State, as well as the parent booster club for their outstanding work all year.