Thurgood Marshall Mock Trials on BronxNet

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks to participants of the Thurgood Marshall Junior Mock Trials. Credit: Bronxnet

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor inspired teams of middle school students as they competed in the Thurgood Marshall Junior Mock Trials in the Bronx, and BronxNet cameras were there to capture highlights. Approximately 1,000 students from 31 schools in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester gathered at the Bronx County Courthouse to present their cases, on the 20th Anniversary of the Trials. The students were well prepared, after spending months receiving coaching from volunteer lawyers.

Eighth graders argued a robbery under an accomplice liability theory, and seventh graders argued a homicide case with a self-defense scenario. Born and raised in the projects in the Bronx, the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor shared the story of her inspirational journey and gave the students advice about how to succeed in life. In addition to providing encouraging words, Justice Sotomayor also served as presiding judge in the Eighth grade final, won by P.S. 71’s eighth grade Prep Academy.

Acting Bronx Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth A. Taylor founded the mock trial program in 1997, to prepare public and private middle school students for legal careers and other challenges.

The special program will be broadcast on BronxNet, Channel 67-Optimum and 33-Fios on Tuesday 12/12 at 8pm, Friday 12/15 at 1pm, and Thursday 12/21 at 9:30pm. A schedule of additional broadcasts is available at

“Presenting content and opportunities that inspire our youth is an important part of BronxNet’s mission. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to work with the terrific organizers of the Thurgood Marshall Junior Mock Trials to produce highlights of the cases presented and motivational words from the Honorable U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, ” said BronxNet Executive Director Michael Max Knobbe.

“On behalf of BronxNet Chairman Paul T. Gentile, our board of directors and the entire BronxNet team, we thank the organizers and all the honorable participating judges including the program’s founder Judge Elizabeth A. Taylor, Administrative Judge Douglas E. McKeon, co-founder Judge Eddie J. McShan, and Administrative Judge Robert E. Torres. We congratulate all the participating students, educators and volunteers on their excellent work, ” added Mr. Knobbe.

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