Garth Backe, Assistant U.S. Attorney for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, began the academy with discussions on trial decorum, opening statements, closing arguments, and exhibits. Rexford C. Kosack, attorney in private practice and former CNMI attorney general, followed with a presentation on impeachment. Timothy H. Bellas, attorney in private practice, justice pro tem, and former CNMI Superior Court judge, subsequently touched on hearsay. Robert T. Torres, attorney in private practice and former CNMI attorney general, concluded the academy with a discussion on relevance.
The students will now be preparing for the High School Mock Trial competition on Feb. 26-27, 2015, at the Guma’ Hustisia to compete for the honor of representing the CNMI at the national championship in May 2015. They will be arguing Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands v. Quinn Siguenza, a hypothetical criminal case about a veteran police officer charged with the murder of a repeat criminal offender and suspected drug dealer.
For more information about the case and the competition, visit http://www.justice.gov.mp/Mock_Trial_2015_2.php. (NMI Judiciary)