Judge and Juror for a Day
Written by Tim George, February 6, 2015
On January 27, 2015 and February 4, 2015, Tim George, a partner in the Erie, PA firm of Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., served as judge for a day (or at least for an afternoon). He did so during the recent statewide mock trial competition, which was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Eric Purchase volunteered to be a juror in the competition. The mock trial competition gives eight-member student teams from various high schools in the region the opportunity to argue both sides of a case in an actual courtroom before a “judge.” The students, who play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs, and defendants, are assisted by teacher-coaches and lawyer-advisors in preparing for the competition. Volunteer lawyers, such as Tim and Eric, as well as community leaders, serve as jurors in the trial. The juries determine the winners in each trial based upon the preparation of the cases, the arguments, and their ability to follow the rules of court. The winners advance to the statewide mock trial championships in Harrisburg, PA. The winner of the state championship will represent Pennsylvania at the national mock trial finals in Indianapolis later this spring.