ST. CROIX — The 24th Annual Virgin Islands High School Appellate Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the Virgin Islands Bar Association, was held on May 1 – 3, 2018, with six schools participating in the competition this year, amounting twelve teams.
Coming out as the ultimate victors this year, was the Eudora Kean High School students, according to results provided by the VI Bar.
The participating schools from St. Croix were: Good Hope Country Day School, St. Croix Central High School, and St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School. The participating schools from St. Thomas were: Antilles School, Charlotte Amalie High School, and Ivanna Eudora Kean High School.
The competition provided an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors in the territory to vie for scholarship prizes by presenting oral arguments in which they analyzed relevant legal issues in a mock appellate court proceeding, according to the release. Members of the VI Bar Association mentored the students, advising the teams regarding the substance and presentation of their arguments. During the first two days of competition, each team presented their arguments to a three judge panel comprised of local attorneys who selected the top two teams from each district, according to the release.
On Thursday, the final day of competition, the selected teams presented their arguments before a three judge panel comprised of Justice Maria M. Cabret of the Supreme Court of the VI, Administrative Judge Harold W.L. Willocks of the Superior Court of the VI, and Judge Debra S. Watlington of the Superior Court of the VI.
This year the students were presented with a challenging and timely hypothetical case involving a legal action for declaratory judgment in which the petitioner, whose home was completely destroyed by Hurricane Irmaria, challenged his insurance company’s denial of his insurance claim. The students were also treated to a Keynote Address by Glendina Matthew, Esq., from the Division of Banking and Insurance at the Office of the Lt. Governor, who reminded the students of the importance of the issues they were arguing to the community.
Only two points separated the top two teams, according to the release. The winners of the competition were the Appellee team from the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School comprised of Ki’Andre Thomas, Jahavheed George, and Shania Farrington. The school’s faculty coaches were Kendra Vicars and Keisha Hackett. The school’s attorney coach was Mark Kragel, Esq.
Second Place went to the Appellee team from the St. Croix Central High School comprised of Jayla Norman, Giovane Barnes, and Alayna Caraballo. The school’s faculty coaches were Ericka Hansan and Joseph Bess. The school’s attorney coach was Kelvin L. Vidale, Esq. Third Place was awarded to the Appellant team from the Good Hope Country Day School comprised of Crystal Fahie and Jade Bryan. The school’s faculty coach was Nancy Thatcher. The school’s attorney coaches were Pamela Colon, Esq. and Michael Rogers, Esq. And Fourth Place went to the Appellant team from the Antilles School comprised of Taylor Robinson, and Sherde Nicholas. The school’s faculty coach was Kim Murtha. The school’s attorney coach was Charlotte Perrell, Esq.
Awards for Best Orator were presented to Taylor Robinson of the Antilles school and Jada Romer of the Good Hope Country Day School for the preliminary round, and Jahavheed George of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School for the final round.