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Ss. Peter and Paul School Wins Moot Court Competition

May 6, 2006 – The 2006 season of academic competition delved into the realm of law this week, as teams of high school students argued the legality of adding a controversial theory to classroom curriculum in this year's 12th annual Appellate Moot Court Competition.
The team representing Ss. Peter and Paul School was named the winner this year. Ss. Peter and Paul was one of four teams named as finalists on the final day of a two-day competition.
According to one of the winning team members, it was the first time the St. Thomas Catholic high school had won Moot Court.
Public and private schools fared equally well as they argued the constitutionality of adding a discussion on the theory of intelligent design to an elective high school philosophy class.
St. Croix Central High School won second place for its arguments. Charlotte Amalie High School won third place, followed by All Saints Cathedral School in fourth.
The V.I. Bar Association and the Superior Court serve as co-sponsors for Moot Court.
Teams were asked to argue the matter from both supportive and opposing views before a panel of judges, who consider students on the merits of their legal arguments, how well they make their oral presentations, how well they represent their side of the argument, and how well they respond to the judges' questions.
Teams arguing in favor of including intelligent design in the hypothetical philosophy course represented the V.I. Board of Education.
Those who argued against inclusion represented parents of students attending the fictitious Cyril E. King High School.
Students made their arguments before Judges Patricia D. Steele, Audrey Thomas-Francis and Daryl Donahue.
"It was very, very mind-opening," said Anastasia Wallace, a member of the winning team. "It has really helped me to understand what it's like to be a lawyer."
Attorney James Bernier Jr., coach of the Ss. Peter and Paul team, said, "It was wonderful to work with the students and try to share my skills and knowledge as an attorney, to open the doors for them and show them what a real court experience was like."
Bernier, a member of the firm Stryker, Duensing, Casner & Dollison, said it was his first time coaching a Moot Court team.
Eight years ago he competed as part of a team from Ss. Peter and Paul. Last year he helped organize the competition.
Bernier said that because of his status as a Ss. Peter and Paul alumnus, he asked to work with that team.
"The students were great," he said. "At the beginning one indicated she wanted to be a lawyer, and at the end two of them indicated they wanted to be a lawyer."
Wallace said she was glad, as a high school senior, "to take on the challenge and win the respect of my peers."

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May 6, 2006 - The 2006 season of academic competition delved into the realm of law this week, as teams of high school students argued the legality of adding a controversial theory to classroom curriculum in this year's 12th annual Appellate Moot Court Competition.
The team representing Ss. Peter and Paul School was named the winner this year. Ss. Peter and Paul was one of four teams named as finalists on the final day of a two-day competition.
According to one of the winning team members, it was the first time the St. Thomas Catholic high school had won Moot Court.
Public and private schools fared equally well as they argued the constitutionality of adding a discussion on the theory of intelligent design to an elective high school philosophy class.
St. Croix Central High School won second place for its arguments. Charlotte Amalie High School won third place, followed by All Saints Cathedral School in fourth.
The V.I. Bar Association and the Superior Court serve as co-sponsors for Moot Court.
Teams were asked to argue the matter from both supportive and opposing views before a panel of judges, who consider students on the merits of their legal arguments, how well they make their oral presentations, how well they represent their side of the argument, and how well they respond to the judges' questions.
Teams arguing in favor of including intelligent design in the hypothetical philosophy course represented the V.I. Board of Education.
Those who argued against inclusion represented parents of students attending the fictitious Cyril E. King High School.
Students made their arguments before Judges Patricia D. Steele, Audrey Thomas-Francis and Daryl Donahue.
"It was very, very mind-opening," said Anastasia Wallace, a member of the winning team. "It has really helped me to understand what it's like to be a lawyer."
Attorney James Bernier Jr., coach of the Ss. Peter and Paul team, said, "It was wonderful to work with the students and try to share my skills and knowledge as an attorney, to open the doors for them and show them what a real court experience was like."
Bernier, a member of the firm Stryker, Duensing, Casner & Dollison, said it was his first time coaching a Moot Court team.
Eight years ago he competed as part of a team from Ss. Peter and Paul. Last year he helped organize the competition.
Bernier said that because of his status as a Ss. Peter and Paul alumnus, he asked to work with that team.
"The students were great," he said. "At the beginning one indicated she wanted to be a lawyer, and at the end two of them indicated they wanted to be a lawyer."
Wallace said she was glad, as a high school senior, "to take on the challenge and win the respect of my peers."

Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.