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Supreme Court Celebrates Success of Marianas High School Students at Regional Moot Court Competition in California

MARCH 8, 2024 - The Supreme Court is delighted to announce the outstanding achievements of four students from Marianas High School at the National Association of Moot Court High School Regional Competition held at the University of California Santa Barbara on March 2-3.


MHS juniors Princes Habal, Julia Taitano, Jenny Zhang, and Yejin Son showcased their legal acumen and advocacy skills, with Habal and Taitano securing a place in the top 7 out of 28 teams from across California and the western region. It was the Northern Marianas’ inaugural participation in a moot court competition, demonstrating the caliber of our local talents. The four students earned the opportunity to attend the regional competition by being the two finalist teams in the Judiciary’s local high school moot court competition last December.


Throughout the two-day competition at UC Santa Barbara, the students presented compelling arguments on a case problem centered around the First Amendment, deliberating whether certain laws infringed upon the free speech clause. Under the guidance of Supreme Court law clerks Nathan Ford, Paige Lehman, and Patrick Quimby, along with MHS teachers Stephen Woodruff and Jia Xu, the students displayed commendable legal prowess.


“We commend the dedication and passion exhibited by the students and coaches making this inaugural participation a resounding success. Their achievements not only showcase the talent of our youth but also highlight the importance of legal education and advocacy in our community,” said Supreme Court law clerk Lehman.

“We look forward to continued success and participation from all the high schools later this year when we will hold the second local competition,” she added.


This remarkable achievement was made possible through the generous funding provided by the Federal Programs Office at Public School System and Marianas High School. The CNMI Bar Association and Judiciary staff provided unwavering support for the program.


For further information, contact the Supreme Court at Supreme.Court@NMIJudiciary.gov.


Left Photo:

MHS Moot Court competitors Jenny Zhang, Yejin Son, Princes Habal, and Julia Taitano stand with coaches and chaperones Jia Jin Xu, Stephen Woodruff, Patrick Quimby, and Paige Lehman on the University of California Santa Barbara campus.


Center Photo:

Quarterfinalists Julia Taitano and Princes Habal pose with certificates for their 7th place finish out of 28 regional competitors. They were also the champions of the NMI Moot Court competition in December.


Right Photo:

Moot Court competitors Yejin Son, Princes Habal, Julia Taitano, and Jenny Zhang toured the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse.


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