Maine's Mock Trial Program Seeks Support
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Dear MSBA Member,
On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the finals were held between Cape Elizabeth and Brewer High School. Cape Elizabeth prevailed and will be representing Maine at the national competition. Congratulations to Cape Elizabeth, Brewer High, and all of the other schools and students who participated in this year's competition!
Needless to say, this is an amazing opportunity for these students. Also, this is a great program for our state as it exposes our young people to the legal system, the constitution, inter alia. We all benefit by this exposure. In fact, there are members of the bar who participated in this program while they were in high school! But this program doesn't run itself.
About four years ago, the program was in dire jeopardy, without a home and without funding. Eventually it was formed into a stand-alone, non-profit entity. However, the funding has remained a major issue and we are in the same boat now as we were four years ago.
The MSBA and Husson University both provide regular funding of the program, although in amounts that do not provide full funding. While each team pays an entrance fee, those entrance fees only make up about one third of the entire yearly budget. And the MSBA and Husson contributions only take the budget to a little over the halfway mark. This year, the program is $3,500.00 shy of where it needs to be in order to remain viable for the years to come. If we cannot make up this gap, the program is in serious risk of not being able to continue next year.
The program is essentially run, singlehandedly, by Attorney Amanda Doherty. (Amanda is the program!). My function is to provide Amanda with behind the scenes help, mainly providing administrative support and trying to fundraise anything over and above the teams' entrance fees. But my efforts are only as good as the money that comes in, and unfortunately we are shy of where we need to be.
For those of you who have contributed either individually, or as a firm, thank you! You know who you are and your contributions are generous, greatly appreciated, and have helped keep the program alive. But we need more help. Please consider contributing to this great program.
Anyone interested in contributing can send checks to my office, made out to the Maine High School Mock Trial Program, Inc. The program is a non-profit, so contributions are tax deductible.
We really need your help. I am always available to answer any questions or comments that anyone might have.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Very Truly Yours,
MSBA Governor, District Nine (Penobscot County)
Ezra Willey, Esq.
Willey Law Offices
P.O. Box 924
Bangor, ME 04402-0924