Foundation Facts
Special Edition - May 2015

Omaha's Duchesne Academy won the 2015 national title at last week's High School Mock Trial Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina!

Representing Nebraska, the team defeated Georgia's Northview High School team to become national champions.

The Bar Foundation is exceeding pleased to make this announcement and to congratulate the eight team members, their teacher coach, and their three attorney coaches!

Please enjoy the story and photos that follow.






Executive Director  


Photo Gallery and Story- National High School Mock Trial Championship, May 15 & 16, 2015

The Nebraska team celebrates outside the North Carolina State Capitol following the announcement that they will compete for the national championship

Both the Nebraska and Georgia teams won four rounds of preliminary trials to advance to the finals.  In the championship round, the Nebraska team represented the defense.side of Andy Archer v. Detail Security, Inc., a case which was a fictional account of an actual historical event surrounding the theft, and the return, of North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights.


Nine judges from North Carolina, Idaho, and Pennsylvania scored the teams' performances before a presiding judge.

The Duchesne Team.  Front row:  Natalie Taylor, Ariana Haddad, Collette Hanusek, Divya Nimmagadda, and Elizabeth Matthews.  Back row:  Attorney Coach Mark Laughlin, Molly Laughlin, Taylor Anderson, Claire Benedix, and Attorney Coach Patrick Cooper
The team huddle before first round of competition

In the four preliminary rounds of trials, the Nebraska team met other Mock Trial teams from the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Arkansas, and Virginia.  Forty-six teams participated in the National Championship, having come from as far away as Guam, the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, and South Korea.

Team member Ariana Haddad is recognized as one of the top witnesses at Nebraska High School Mock Trial Championship

Teacher Coach Adam Klepper (far left) and Attorney Coach Gerald Laughlin (far right) arrive with the team back home in Omaha

Attorney Coach Mark Laughlin indicates that, in the near future, Duchesne Academy will honor the national achievement of its Mock Trial team, three members of which will graduate this spring.

Bar Foundation President Stanley C. Goodwin thanks the Nebraska Council of School Attorneys for its generous contribution that helps defray the cost for students to travel to and participate in the National High School Mock Trial Championship.
Nebraska Enjoys Long, Impressive History with National High School Mock Trial Championships

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Nebraska's first Mock Trial Championship.  In 1985, five states participated in the All States Mock Trial Championship, and the Ogallala, Nebraska, team took the top honors.  In 2013, Omaha's Skutt Catholic High School team represented Nebraska in the National High School Mock Trial Championship and brought back the third place honors.  Since 2010, Nebraska teams represented by Duchesne and Skutt have won 21 rounds out of 25 at the National Championship.

In 2001, the Bar Foundation hosted the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Omaha, which brought almost 1,000 visitors representing 41 teams to our state.


Annually, the Foundation funds and administers the Judge Lyle E. Strom High School Mock Trial Project.  The program involves more than 1,000 student participants and over 400 lawyers and judges as volunteers.

Please consider a gift to the Mock Trial Endowment 

Created in 2001, at the conclusion of Nebraska's hosting the National Championship, this endowment financially assists to advance the Mock Trial program.  Gifts may be made at any time by contacting me,  Or, you may phone me at 402/475-1042 or toll-free, 800-773-5396.

Gifts made to this Bar Foundation endowment at tax deductible as allowed by law.

If you have questions about the Foundation's programs of Law-Related Education, please contact me at

1-800-773-5396 or 402-475-1042. 

Nebraska State Bar Foundation
635 S. 14th Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Nebraska State Bar Foundation