Law Day Spotlight: Custer County Bar Association
Custer County students serve as jurors in the Law Day mock trial.
Looking for innovative ways to celebrate Law Day at the local level? Be inspired by the Custer County Bar Association! This group of western Oklahoma lawyers and judges organized a fun and creative way to get school kids thinking about the law and our legal system.
The members of the bar association staged four mock trials for students from Arapaho-Butler, Clinton and Weatherford schools. Fifth grade students were summoned to the courthouse on March 26 for the trial of Henry Farmer. The complaining witness, Miss Orginia Petunia, alleged that the vile and stinky Mr. Farmer continually allowed his pigs to get out of his so-called fence and rout in her yard, trampling her beloved flowers. The final straw was when Miss Petunia caught the pigs eating the prized petunias that she had planned to enter in the county fair. There were expert witnesses on all things pig, a neighbor, a police officer and even a “pig” entered the courtroom at one point. The students served as jurors and the verdicts were one guilty, one deadlocked jury, one not guilty and one mistrial after the jury panel was polled.
Miss Petunia takes the stand.
More than 300 students participated in this project and each received a pocket Constitution to take with them. There were 25 attorneys and various courthouse personnel who participated in this fun and informative project. The informal polling conducted at the end of the trial was inconclusive as to who had more fun, the students or the attorneys.
The bar association will also speak with local high school seniors and hand out the legal guide for young adults distributed by the Oklahoma Bar Association. Several attorneys will be participating in this project.
This Law Day project in Custer County is great way bar members can get kids engaged in civic education and foster positive community relations at the same time. It also serves as a reminder that OBA members have a professional obligation to serve their communities, not only on Law Day, but all year round. Congratulations to Custer County bar members for going the extra mile to educate, inspire and give back!
The “pig” who caused all the trouble
See what other counties are planning for Law Day 2013
Here is what some of the fifth grade students who attended the mock trial had to say:
Hunter: Mr. Farmer is innocent. The pigs that ate Mrs. Petunia’s petunias might not have been Mr. Farmers. The pigs could have been inside Mr. Farmer’s house while some pigs that looked just like Mr. Farmers were eating Mrs. Petunias flowers.
Andrea: I think that Mr. Farmer is not guilty because he could be framed. Also those holes (in the yard) could be that Mrs. Petunia pulled weeds.
Autumn: I think Mr. Farmer is guilty. If Mr. Farmer wants pigs he should take care of them and build a new fence. Mrs. Petunia was so devastated when she found her petunias were gone.