Palmerton and Marian Catholic, two of the area's top mock trial teams, faced off in courtroom no. 1 of the Carbon County Courthouse Friday morning.

Both teams have enjoyed banner years. The Mock Trial Team at Marian High School defeated Allentown Central Catholic in competition to advance to regional competition in Scranton last month. It marked the fourth time Marian has advanced to this level. The Mock Trial Team at Marian has been in existence for over 20 years,

There are 24 schools that participate in District 5, which comprises an area that includes Carbon, Schuylkill, Lehigh, Northampton, and Berks counties.

Last month, Palmerton's Mock Trial Team lost this year's District 5 final by a mere point to Northampton High School. The team, which entered the competition as the defending District 5 champion, had turned away prior challenges from Pen Argyl, Pottsville Nativity BVM, Antietam and Liberty high schools.

Audrey Larvey, team adviser, said the preparation involves an extensive commitment of time since students try to meet every school day from December until competition begins in early February. Steven Vlossak, Esq., has served as the team's legal adviser the past five years.

During that time, the team has qualified for the District 5 championship three times. In that time, it won the event twice, at which point it moved on to the regional competition.

In the past four years, both Palmerton teams have qualified for at least the quarter finals, Larvey said. This year, she said Palmerton only fielded one team.