American Mock Trial Invitational
American Mock Trial Invitational (AMTI) is a legal competition among high school students which was established by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers in May 2006 after those states objected to religious intolerance by the National High School Mock Trial Championship. The AMTI was then founded as an alternative competition that respects students' who honor a Sabbath.
The Torah Academy of Bergen County of Teaneck, New Jersey, won the 2005 New Jersey State Bar Foundation High School tournament, and was eligible to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Championship. The members of the mock trial team from Torah Academy observed the Sabbath, in accordance with their practice of Orthodox Judaism, and would not have been able to participate in any National High School Mock Trial Championship competitions from sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday without certain accommodations. Satisfactory accommodations were then made to allow Torah Academy of Teaneck, New Jersey, to compete during the last National High School Mock Trial Championship held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from May 5-7, 2005, without violating the religious practices of the students. Comments by other participants afterwards supported the accommodations made for religious religions.
But the Board of Directors of the National High School Mock Trial Championship voted on October 15, 2005 to refuse any future accommodations for students who observe Sabbath on Friday and/or Saturday.
On October 27, 2005, the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation voted unanimously that New Jersey will not compete in the National High School Mock Trial Championship unless the National Board establishes a policy permitting accommodation for religious observance. On January 6, 2006, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers also officially withdrew from participating in the National High School Mock Trial Championship because the National Board would not make changes to the competition's schedule to accommodate students with religious restrictions.
New Jersey and North Carolina bar associations then founded the AMTI to accommodate and respect religious convictions of participants. The AMTI also differs from the National High School Mock Trial Championship by allowing more than one team to represent each state.
2007 Contest results
In the Second Annual AMTI, the results were as follows:
- Family Christian Academy Homeschoolers - Tennessee
- University Preparatory Academy - Washington
- Madison Central High School - Kentucky
- Eastside Catholic High School - Washington
- Oratory Preparatory School - New Jersey
- Middle Township High School - New Jersey
- Kittatinny Regional High School - New Jersey
- Terry Sanford High School - North Carolina
- JH Rose High School, Blue Team - North Carolina
- Elder High School - Ohio
- JH Rose High School, Green Team - North Carolina
- Daeil Foreign Language High School - South Korea
- Franklin High School - Washington
- Cheongshim International Academy - South Korea