The annual Alaska High School Mock Trial Competition presents teams of high school students with the chance to learn about individual liberties and the legal process and to explore career opportunities within the law by participating in a simulated trial against other teams. Each team consists of six to nine members who play the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a simulated bench trial setting. There are four preliminary rounds to the competition, a semi-final round, and finally a final round. Each round lasts approximately two hours. Over the course of the competition, students must make opening and closing arguments, examine and cross-examine witnesses, introduce evidence, and face and defend multiple hearsay or related objections. Teams are evaluated by a three-person panel of judges, attorneys, and law clerks.
If you are interested in being a volunteer judge, please contact Lars Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea Bender, a 17-year-old high school senior at Borealis High School, loved basketball. She had played since she was 8 years old, and after receiving limited playing time throughout her high school career for the Borealis High Grizzlies, she was excited to get more opportunities as a senior. In a sense, it was her last chance to play. She knew she was unlikely to play in college.
However, Andrea had always struggled with her weight, and even before the season began, her coach told Andrea she needed to lose weight if she wanted to get much playing time. Andrea took this to heart and began working hard over the summer to drop some pounds. Despite her efforts, Andrea struggled to lose weight. From talking to teammates, Andrea learned of a weight loss supplement, Fit Cut, produced by a popular supplement company, Performance, Inc. Andrea wasn't sure about using it, but one night she saw an infomercial for it. On the infomercial, the company spokesperson claimed Fit Cut dropped weight dramatically for people who used it. Alleged users claimed to have lost up to 10 pounds in a month on Fit Cut. Andrea was excited about something that could help her lose weight quickly. In early October, Andrea ordered several bottles of Fit Cut. When she received the bottles about a week later, Andrea immediately began using Fit Cut.
By December, Andrea had lost 20 pounds according to her friends. Unfortunately, she still had not been playing much. Her position was taken by an outstanding sophomore forward, Miranda Jones. However, the Grizzlies were doing well ' they advanced through the State playoffs and entered the semi-finals the weekend of December 15-16. Things had been going well until the final minutes of the previous game, a close one that the Grizzlies won by three points. Near the end of the game, Miranda broke her ankle going for a rebound. Miranda's injury meant that Andrea would have to step in.
Up to that point, Andrea had played no more than 20 minutes in a single game, and that was early in the season. Over the next two months of the season, her play diminished rapidly. Although she continued using Fit Cut, Andrea also lost motivation to exercise. She continued to practice but stopped working out in her extra time. In the last weeks of the season, as well as during the playoffs, Andrea's playing time had diminished to at most 10 minutes per game. Andrea had not played in the last two games at all except for coming in for 2 minutes after Miranda broke her ankle.
Andrea played all of the semi-final game, a total of 40 minutes. The Grizzlies' opponent, the Ravens, played a fast-paced game, and Andrea kept up the entire time. Her coach rotated other players in to spell each other, but with no back-up forward, Andrea had to play the entire time.
And she played well. Fans described Andrea's performance as extraordinary. In the first half alone, she had 4 steals, 6 assists, and 14 points, more than she had ever scored in a whole'game. Entering halftime, the Ravens and Grizzlies were tied 36-36. During halftime, Andrea's coach encouraged Andrea to keep going - Andrea assured her coach she could keep it up.
Andrea kept going in the second half, repeatedly sprinting the length of the floor on offense and defense. Fans noticed that during time outs and pauses in the game, Andrea looked exhausted. She repeatedly put her hands on her knees. Some spectators described her as clutching her chest, but accounts differed on exactly what Andrea was doing.
In the final minutes of the game, the Ravens began to pull away. With 2 minutes left, they had a 6 point lead. Andrea was able to quickly score 4 points though, taking a rebound the length of the floor for a lay-up, then stealing a pass, sprinting the entire floor, and scoring again.
As the Ravens in-bounded the ball with just over a minute to play, Andrea was moving backward for defense. Near mid-court, she collapsed. Medics rushed to her side before carting Andrea off the floor and rushing her to an emergency room. Despite efforts to revive Andrea, doctors pronounced her dead at the hospital. Doctors declared the cause of death to be a heart attack.
Andrea's parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Performance, Inc., alleging that Fit Cut caused Andrea to suffer a heart attack. Fit Cut has denied all responsibility and argued that a preexisting condition caused Andrea's heart attack. Trial is set to run from Thursday, February 28th until Saturday, March 2nd, 2013.