A popular tradition and learning experience took place at the Westfield Municipal Courthouse on Jan. 14, as Westfield High School legal eagles in the Mock Trial class of social studies teacher Kimberly Leegan tackled the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney, plaintiff, and witnesses in a fictitious case entitled “Avery Mansion v. Captain Kidd’s Pier.”
“The students were greeted by Mayor Brindle at the start of the day. Parents attended and were able to serve as jurors,” says Leegan, adding that two full mock trials were conducted. “Both trials were presided over by the Honorable James Hely of the Superior Court, Law Division in Union County. Judge Hely is a resident of Westfield and a graduate of WHS.”
The fictitious civil case -- the first in-person Mock Trial event by WHS students since the start of the pandemic -- involved a plaintiff who claimed that insufficient safety warnings led to her injury while riding a roller coaster. The student defense team argued that the ride and warning were adequate and that injuries sustained were caused by the plaintiff diving off of the pier.