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NICHE Homeschoolers Win Burlington County Mock Trial Competition

 The verdict is in. NICHE homeschoolers won the 2012 Burlington County Mock Trial Competition on Feb. 1, overtaking Cinnaminson High School in the final round. NICHE has won the competition for four consecutive years.

Superior Court Judges Terrence R. Cook and Philip E. Haines presided over the final round. Judge Cook remarked, “It is an honor to participate in this event that highlights local students. It is evident that much preparation is put into this program by the students, coaches and teachers. It is wonderful to watch the students as they exhibit such self-confidence and leadership abilities.”

Participating Burlington County schools were Bordentown Regional, Burlington City, Cinnaminson, Delran, Doane Academy, Holy Cross, Lenape, Moorestown and NICHE.

This year’s case is based on a fictional high school student who broke into a teacher’s house. The case hinged on whether the defendant was trying to deliver his math test, on which he admittedly had cheated, or whether he was there to commit a bias crime by stealing an emblem of the teacher’s home country.

Burlington County Bar Association’s Mock Trial Co-Chairs Ethan Ordog and Joni Gray noted that more than 35 members of the bar volunteered countless hours to coordinate, coach and judge the competition. “We are grateful for the support, cooperation and devotion received from the many individuals who contribute to this educational program,” said Ordog. “The bar congratulates all the schools that participated in this year’s event, and we wish NICHE success as they move on to the regional competition.”

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation, in cooperation with county bar associations, sponsors the Vincent J. Apruzzese Mock Trial Competition each year. The statewide competition encourages a better understanding of the American legal system. Local high school students take on the roles of plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys, and witnesses as they compete against each other.

NICHE will represent Burlington County at the regional competition at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick Feb. 6 through Feb. 8.