Judge Kevin Korsmo Presides over the Curlew / Republic Mock Trial Competition

Today was the Republic / Curlew Mock Trial Competition in Ferry County.  Judge Kevin Korsmo from the Court of Appeals came to town to serve as our judge. Judge Korsmo, at the top left, judged the Republic / Curlew Mock Trial Competition today. After serving as our mock trial judge for 3 years in a row, Kevin Korsmo has developed a considerable local fan base, and students welcomed him to town by posting a large banner at the courthouse.  Korsmo is a judge at the Court of Appeals in Spokane and makes a near 3 hour trip to Republic to work with the youth.

Attorney Steve Graham enjoys a donut during a court recess

He crosses the highest mountain pass in the state to come, and it is not unheard of to have snow on this pass in May.  The teams consist of the senior classes of the local high schools.  The coaches are local attorneys, and the school teachers have also developed expertise as they have taught numerous mock trial classes over the years.  The teachers are Don Nelson of Curlew High School, and Shawn Corbin of Republic High School.  The two high schools are rivals in many school sports, and the mock trial has become something of a rivalry too.  I believe that Curlew had not won since 2004, and the Curlew kids came into the competition with a strong desire to bring the trophy home.  The mock trial competition consists of two trials actually.  Using a hypothetical fact scenario provided by the national association, each teacher creates a prosecution and defense side.  In the morning, it became clear that Curlew held an edge.  And after the judge announced Curlew the winner of that round, the Curlew kids left for lunch feeling confident.  But after lunch, it soon became clear that the advantage was shifting to Republic High School.  It dawned on the Curlew kids that the trophy might remain in Republic after all.

Local attorney Dennis Morgan watches the mock trial. Morgan often practices in front of Judge Korsmo at the Court of Appeals.

The students, teachers, parents, and courthouse staff all watched with full attention as the two schools fought for every advantage.  The Republic team made good use of objections that seemed to trip up Curlew at times.  At the completion of the trial, the judge announced that the overall point total went to Curlew High School.  Judge Kevin Korsmo announced that he would be returning to judge the competition for as long we would have him.  Judge Korsmo afterward posed with the students.  Judge Korsmo handed out awards to the students who won in specific areas.  The best defense lawyer award went to Katie Torzewski of Curlew High School.  The best prosecution lawyer award went to Matt Slagle of Republic.   The best prosecution witness award went to Amy Angstrom, and the best defense witness award went to Katy Lee Lewis, both of Curlew.  For more on the mock trial, check out the Unofficial Curlew / Republic Mock Trial Page on Facebook.

I don’t belong to any civic groups, and the mock trial is pretty much the only volunteer work that I do.  It usually takes about 20 or 25 hours to coach the kids.  It is definitely pretty fun.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR….
Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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