When a show dog dies, its owners sue the company that made a flea treatment they used, saying the product was dangerous. The company claims the owners cannot prove that it was the product that caused the dog’s death.

High school mock trial teams from around the state have been arguing the canine case this month in the annual Vincent J. Apruzzese New Jersey Mock Trial competition, sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation.

Teams compete first at the county level, with winners going on to the regional competition Feb. 5. Semifinals are held in March, with the finals scheduled for March 20 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.

On Wednesday, Mainland Regional beat Holy Spirit to win the Atlantic County competition at the Atlantic County Courthouse in Atlantic City.

The winning team members from Mainland are: Patrick Law, Erin Kiernan, Flannery Rollins, Roman Papademitriou, Matt Johnson, Lauren Ziereis, Amanda Etemad, Bhavani Singh, Jake Blumberg, Noah Nardone, Lucas Gideon, Tyler Newman and Patrick McCarthy. Chris Fernandez is the teacher adviser.

Nine high schools in Atlantic County competed, including teams from Absegami, the Atlantic County Institute of Technology, Cedar Creek, Egg Harbor Township, Hammonton, Holy Spirit, Mainland Regional, Oakcrest and St. Joseph.

In Cape May County, teams from Middle Township, Lower Cape May Regional, Cape May County Technical and Wildwood Catholic competed at the Cape May County Superior Courthouse in Cape May Court House.

Middle Township won the county competition. Team members are: Alex Casper, Ashley Smutnik, Victoria Shappell, Gabby Guiliano, Lauren Anderson, Ryan Hildebrandt, Dylan Rhile, Morgon Goranson, Alex Casper and Dominique McNeil. Understudies are Casey Salvadore, Brandon Brady and Jack Wade. Martina Trapani and Joseph Towns are the teacher coaches and Fred Mick is the team’s attorney coach.

Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland teams competed for the Cumberland County title in a round-robin competition, with Millville named the winning team.

Millville’s team members are: Joseph Worthington, Kristen Scagnelli, Jesse Spinelli, Nicholas Makos, Sara Penka, Caroline Wood, Russell Coxe, Laura Schwegel, Josh Schneider, Ryan Pletcher, and jurors Steven Bruman, Jerome File, Johnathan Saunders, Frank Uzzolina, Rebekah Parrish, Ivana Ortiz and Scott Craner. Donna Cedermark is the team adviser.

In Ocean County, the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Sciences in Stafford Townshio beat Jacskon Memorial for the county championship. Other participating high schools were Brick Memorial, Brick Township, Central Regional, Jackson Liberty, Monsignor Donovan and Point Pleasant Beach.

The winning team from MATES included Connor Giles, Neha Syal, Barry Lathrop, Margaret Rice, Anju Malhotra, Christopher Coon, Quinn Dunlea, Jessica Sansone, Rebeccaa Dixon, Stephen Zuckerman, Tyler Ascione, Hailey Conrad, Alissa Papernik, Jazmine Prana and Rahul Syal. Teacher Michael McNamara is the adviser and Elizabeth J. Leahey is the attorney coach.

Contact Diane D’Amico:

609-272-7241