Cases & Deals

Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law ("AGL") law team prepares for the New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament

Client(s) Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law

Attorneys in the New York office coached the 15-member Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law (“AGL”) law team in its preparation for the New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament.  This competition, which followed on the heels of AGL's Moot Court Competition, marks the second season that Jones Day New York lawyers have coached the AGL law team.

The Urban Assembly Academy is  a small public high school located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  The study body is primarily underserved students from low income families —  94% of the Academy's students are African-American and Latino; 69% qualify for free and reduced lunch programs; 70% of 9th graders enter the Academy with scores below city and state proficiency levels in math and 64% are below proficiency in reading; and 50% speak a language other than English at home. Jones Day has partnered with AGL to enhance the Academy’s curriculum since 2008.

This year's mock trial tournament involved an interesting criminal case, where the defendant was charged with second degree assault in connection with a brutal attack that occurred in a darkened parking lot in Pew Gardens, Queens.  Students competed in courtrooms at the New York Criminal Court.

Valerie Roberts and  TJ Wilkinson headed up the project with assistance from coaches James Beebe, Joshua Bromberg, Michael Dailey, Dee Dee Dixon, Nathaniel Minott, and Susan Turk. The AGL students were split into defense and prosecution teams and learned numerous trial concepts and techniques, including objections, direct and cross-examinations, openings and summations, and the rules of evidence.  At the culmination of their preparation, students on both AGL teams engaged in a full mock trial against a team of Jones Day lawyers, with Jones Day partner Michael Templeton and associate Ken Canfield acting as judges, and with guest appearances (as witnesses and counsel) provided by  Jordan Cerruti, Michael Kay, Jennifer Messina, Eric Stephens, and Mussie Teklezghi.

The AGL team performed well in competition, prevailing over Riverdale Country Day School's defense team in its first round of competition, but losing in its second round to talented competitors from Yeshiva University High School for Boys. All in all, the AGL law team's performance was amazing, according to the Jones Day lawyers who coached the team weekly and watched them compete.

On March 23, 2012, Laura Tuell Parcher and Kevyn Orr hosted AGL's 11th grade students (including 5 students who are members of AGL's law team) for a Lunch with Lawyers in our Washington Office.  AGL Principal David Glasner has said repeatedly, and emphatically, that the Jones Day Lunch with Lawyers and the inspiring words of Laura Parcher and Kevyn Orr were the high point of the 2011 class trip.