A team from Overbrook High School won the 2008 Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial Championship on March 29, beating Greensburg Salem High School, reigning state champion for the past three years, in the final round.
This is the third state title for Overbrook, following wins in 1997 and 2004. Competing in the championships were 12 high school teams from around the state, narrowed from the 295 teams that participated at the district and regional levels.
The case argued in this year's competition concerned an alleged kidnapping.
Philip Beauchemin, Overbrook teacher and coach for two decades, led the winning team of captain Ian Wiley, Jennifer Josiaste, Sarah Brown, Lakyra Stokes, Tamika Webb, Cedric Ingram Jr., Kiersten Harris-Andrews, and Jamal Hill. Overbrook graduate and Temple University law student Josie Hyman assisted in coaching.
Team members fulfill the roles of plaintiffs, defendants, lawyers, and witnesses in an actual courtroom presided over by a judge. Volunteer lawyers and community leaders sit as jurors and assess the teams on their preparedness, arguments, and ability to follow court rules.
Coach Beauchemin said the team set itself apart from the competition "for the old fashioned reasons