Borton Petrini’s Community Spotlight

For the last 27 years, Partner Mark Shem has coached the Lynbrook High School Mock Trial Team.  In fact, he has been volunteering for so long that one of his former students (Jeffrey Z. Liu) is an attorney in our Los Angeles office. Mark recently shared with us about his experiences as an attorney coach of the Lynbrook High School Mock Trial team.

Why did you first get involved with Lynbrook High School Mock Trial team?

I started coaching at Lynbrook High in January 1994 when I answered a call for volunteer attorney coaches from the Bar Association.

What inspires you most about your work with the Lynbrook High School Mock Trial?

The students.  When they finally understand how the facts and law connect and are effective advocates.  I’ve had numerous students go on to enter the law profession.  Many cite their experience in the mock trial program as a big influence.  I’ve even had a graduate literally become a “rocket scientist”.  Whatever they do in life, the students are great communicators.

What is your most memorable moment with the Lynbrook High School Mock Trial?

In 1998, the Team won the County Tournament for the first time ever.  We beat long time champion Palo Alto High School for the right to represent Santa Clara County at the State finals. I think I literally jumped up off my seat when they announced Lynbrook won the round.

Mark Shem is a Partner in the San Jose office of Borton Petrini, LLP.  He is an experienced litigation attorney with a background in a wide variety of practice areas, including business litigation, construction law, real estate law and general civil litigation.