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Legal Lions advance to mock trial regional
ROARING TO REGIONALS: After succeeding in Friday's district trials, NDCL's Legal Lions will compete in regional competition next month. Team members include junior Carter Callender (second from left), seniors Antonia Mysyk and Briana Cowman, and juniors Tad Brennan, Hannah Taylor, and Cal Yackin. With the team are adviser Mrs. Victoria Frabotta (far left) and legal adviser Mr. Ryan Callender (far right).
For the third consecutive year, NDCL's mock trial team will advance to regional competition after successfully arguing in district trials at the Lake County Courthouse on Friday.
When the gavels fell after a series of morning and afternoon trials, our students also won six individual awards: senior Briana Cowman, best attorney and best witness; senior Jessica Iacco, best attorney; senior Carter Callender, best attorney; junior Hannah Taylor, best witness; and freshman Connor Marrott, best witness.      
This year's mock trial case focuses on  the post-conviction relief petition of a man convicted nearly 20 years ago for murdering his ex-girlfriend and classmate. The defendant seeks to overturn his conviction because of his belief that his attorney's ineffective legal assistance prejudiced his case and unfairly led to his conviction.
NDCL's mock trial program has grown to include three teams this year: the Legal Lions, the Latin Lions, and the Northstars—names that reflect the mascots of NDCL, Cathedral Latin School, and Notre Dame Academy.
Team members owe much of their success to the expert advice provided by their dedicated and generous volunteer legal advisors, including Mr. Martin Delahunty, father of Jackie '16 and John '17; Mr. Ryan Callender, father of junior Carter; Geauga County Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Paschke, mother of sophomore Garrett; Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Shaughnessy, father of Megan '12 and senior Katie; and Geauga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Mr. Donovan DeLuca '05 and Mr. Nick Burling '01.  
The team's network of professional support also includes Chardon Municipal Court Judge Terri Stupica, Geauga County Common Pleas Judge Forrest Burt, Geauga County Common Pleas Magistrate Bruce Smalheer, and attorney Mr. Matt Lallo '02, who officiated at scrimmages and provided valuable feedback.
English teacher Ms. Victoria Frabotta '86 and Social Studies Department Chairperson Mrs. Molly Schneider advise the team, which has already begun strategizing for the regional trials at Cuyahoga County's Old Courthouse in downtown Cleveland on February 16. Top teams from the regional competition advance to the state finals in March in Columbus.
Last year NDCL finished as state runner-up and then went on to represent Ohio in the national competition after state champion Indian Hill High School withdrew.