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Mock Trial Takes Gold

For the first time in nine years, CSN won the Collier County Mock Trial Competition!

The competition was held at the Collier County Courthouse Feb. 2-3. In the final round on Saturday afternoon, CSN defeated Lely, the reigning 2023 champions from Collier County. The following high schools competed: First Baptist Academy, Seacrest, Aubrey Rogers, Barron Collier, Gulf Coast, Lely, and Palmetto Ridge. Gulf Coast and Palmetto Ridge each sent two teams.

The trial involved a civil case of a student (Alex Ross) suing his former university (the fictional Palm Coast University) for breach of contract and wrongfully expulsion after he was accused of using artificial intelligence on a term paper in his senior year.

Plaintiff attorneys included Amaya Etcheverry ’24, Howard Gleason ’25, and Olivia Piri ’24. Plaintiff witnesses were Asher Carriero ’24, Nora Gleason ’26, and Alexander Weddell ’24. Alexander played Alex Ross, the plaintiff of the case. Nora played Robin Turner, Alexander’s TA in his marketing class. Asher played Cameron Grey, the owner of an AI detection company and Plaintiff’s expert witness. Olivia served as the team’s president for the 2023-24 school year.

Defense attorneys included Lola Estrem ’26, Hadley Murphey ‘25, and Julianna Pedone ’25. Defense witnesses were Mimi Goldberg ’26, Sadie Lipman ’25, and Ana Vlad ’25. Sadie played Dr. Devin Myers, the marketing professor who accused Alex Ross of using AI. Mimi played Jude Collins, the Dean of Palm Coast University. Ana played Jamie Bossa, a Silicon billionaire who owns an AI detection company and served as the Defense’s expert witness. Shanaya Goemaere ’26 was the team’s timekeeper during all rounds.

All these students have invested countless hours at night at both the courthouse and CSN campus since the case came out in September. Mr. Schwerin and Ms. Kacie Crown serve as the faculty coaches of the team. This was Ms. Crown's first year as coach. The attorney coaches are CSN alumni and brothers Logan Stewart ’11 and Skylar Stewart ’08. Logan works as an attorney in Naples, and Skylar works as an attorney in Tampa.

The team had even further support from alumni this year when PJ Scheiner ’00 arrived the Wednesday night before the competition to guest judge. Mr. Scheiner was a member of the CSN Mock Trial team that won the State Championship in 2000 under the coaching of Ed Cheffy, Andrew Reiss and Mike Mansfield. He is now a CSN parent and works as a personal injury attorney in Fort Myers. Mr. Schwerin ’16 was also a member of the CSN Mock Trial team from 2012-16 when he was a student.

CSN will be advancing to the 20th Judicial Circuit High School Mock Trial Competition in Punta Gorda Feb. 22-23. At this Regional competition, CSN must beat the champions from both Charlotte and Lee Counties. FSW Collegiate High School won the Charlotte competition last weekend. Canterbury and Cape Coral High will be competing for the Lee championship this weekend. If CSN beats the schools from Charlotte and Lee, it would be the first time in 12 years that CSN will have won the Regional competition. The students would then advance to the State competition in Orlando March 7-9. We look forward to their continued success in the next few weeks!

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