Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Law Day in Newark

Last week Newark Youth Court members showed off their mock trial skills at the Newark Municipal Court’s annual Law Day event, State of New Jersey v. Junior N. Nocent-? It was the second year our Youth Court was invited by the Newark Municipal Court to participate in Law Day. Law Day is an annual nationwide celebration of the impact and importance the legal profession in American society.  Volunteer attorneys from Newark Law Department, led by Chief of Staff Angela Foster, coached the youth court members and prepared them for the mock trial.  The Judge Victoria F. Pratt gave the welcome address and Judge Richard E.A. Nunes, Chief Judge of the Newark Municipal Court, presided over the mock trial, while Youth Court members served as bailiff, attorneys, witnesses and members of the jury.

From the opening statements by Andrew Alvarado (prosecution) and Jeneil Lewis (defense), to the convincing witness portrayals by Wali Mizan-Young, Teanna Owens, Destiny Larry and Kaiheam Baker, and the closing statements by Joshua Henry (prosecution) and Cara Willis (defense), all members performed amazingly in their respective roles. Zakiyyah Williams as bailiff kept the courtroom in order and our jury (Sheila Galli, Quanaja Hogan-Burke, Widline Jean-Paul, Tymir McBride, and Mary Salinas) paid close attention and ultimately returned a “guilty” verdict.

This year, Law Day gave our members a chance to hone their professional demeanor, public speaking, and presentation; skills they also rely on year-round while executing their duties on the Newark Youth hearing low-level cases involving real teens. We are hugely indebted to Newark’s Law Department; in particular to attorneys Angela Foster, Emilia Perez, Kathy Kennedy and Ariadna Peguero who all dedicated many hours helping the members sharpen their skills.

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