The 21st Annual CNMI High School Mock Trial competition began yesterday with five high schools across the CNMI fielding teams going head to head for the chance to represent the CNMI and their respective schools in the statewide National Mock Trial competition.
This year’s winning school will represent the CNMI in Athens, Georgia on May 16-18.
The competing schools are Mount Carmel School, Saipan International School, Tinian Jr. and Sr. High School, Grace Christian Academy, and Marianas High School.
MCS bested eight others during last year’s contest.
The CNMI mock trial program is sponsored by the local judiciary, the Public School System and the CNMI Bar Association.
Rounds 1, 2 and 3 were held yesterday and Round 4 and the championship round will start at 12:15pm today.
The students are arguing the fictitious case of Justin Pangelinan v. ForensiTech, Inc.
In the fictitious case, Pangelinan, a minor and the only son of Alex Pangelinan, sustained serious injuries while attending ForensiTech science camp at the Northern Marianas College in Finasisu.
On June 25, camp counselor Pat Pinaula led Pangelinan and the other students in Pat’s evening activity group on an off-campus hike to a location Pinaula had not previously visited. The group became lost and spent the night on a mountain.
Around 3am on June 26, Pangelinan awoke in a confused state, fell down the mountain, and struck his head. Pangelinan sustained a spinal cord injury resulting in a quadriplegia and a serious concussion leading to long term impairment.
Pangelinan is suing ForensiTech Inc., arguing that the company was grossly negligent in sending students on a hike to an unfamiliar location and was liable for damages.
ForensiTech denies gross negligence. ForensiTech also claims that Pangelinan’s own actions in hiding his Type I diabetes from the camp staff led to his confusion and ensuing injuries.
The disposition of the case will come down to determination of fault. Both sides will present witnesses, expert testimony, and exhibit to support their theory of the case.