The mock trial team from Hilton High School won first place in the 2018 Monroe County Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Monroe County and state bar associations.
Hilton was one of 10 high schools to participate in the countywide competition, and prevailed over Allendale Columbia, Brighton, Brockport, Churchville-Chili, Eastridge, McQuaid, Mendon, Mercy and Penfield.
As Monroe County champions, Hilton represented Monroe County in the regional competition against schools from the nine-county district.
The Cadets were recognized as Monroe County champions during a gavel ceremony conducted by the Hon. Joanne Winslow, associate justice of the appellate division — fourth department; John Getz, MCBA president-elect; Kevin Ryan, MCBA executive director; and William Bauer, chairman of the Monroe County Mock Trial Competition.
All statewide participants competed using the same criminal court fact pattern. The People of the State of New York v. Carson Connors involved a student charged with disorderly conduct as a result of an alleged incident occurring at a local school involving another student.
Hilton participated on behalf of the government as the district attorney representing the interests of the people of the state of New York, and participated on behalf of the defendant, Carson Connors, representing his interests as defense counsel. The Cadets had two teams of six students each: three students acted as attorneys and three students acted as witnesses.
Each attorney was responsible for conducting direct and cross examination as well as introducing evidence, objections and arguments as to what evidence should be deemed admissible and which evidence should be excluded by the court. Each witness was responsible for testifying on direct and cross examination as to facts of the case, and some witnesses were offered as expert witnesses in their field of expertise.
The mock trial competitions continued over three months, and were presided over by judges and attorneys who practice within the county and district.
The 2018 Hilton High School mock trial team includes Marianna Ban, Maverick Clark, Orion Clark, Tyler DiCesare, Sarah Engel, Dillon Iannone, Max Jamerson, Matt Lyons, Laura Robinson, Kayla Simone, Michael Speciale, Olivia Strauss and Caroline West.
The team is coached by Mary Pignato, business law teacher at Hilton High School; Bianca D’Angelo, assistant district attorney for Monroe County; and the Hon. Michael Sciortino, Parma Town Court justice and general counsel for eHealth Technologies. The teacher and attorney coaches work with students multiple times during the week and on Sunday mornings to prepare for competition.