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Orange County Digest

Countywide : Costa Mesa Senior Wins Law Day Writing Contest

April 27, 1985|JAMES S. GRANELLI \f7

A high school senior in Costa Mesa won the $500 top award Friday in the third annual Law Day writing contest for a story about his first awareness that other countries do not guarantee the same freedoms as the United States.

Greg Palme of Estancia High School wrote about how police in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, handcuffed and jailed a group of students who were seeking aid for an injured friend during a March, 1982, camping trip.

Refusing to allow them to make any telephone calls, police put the students in filthy cells for several days before their parents hired a Mexican lawyer to get them out, he wrote. While in jail, they learned that their friend, who had fallen off a cliff, had died.

"The freedoms and protection of the law that the young Americans took for granted were not part of a foreign legal system," Palme wrote in his essay.

The awards, sponsored by the Lawyers' Wives of Orange County, were announced at an Orange County Bar Assn. luncheon honoring federal court judges and kicking off a week of public service in connection with Law Day, which is Wednesday.

Other contest winners were Joan Lo, a Fountain Valley High School senior who won the $400 second-place prize; Christine Larson, a Tustin High School junior who won the $300 third-place prize; and three other high school students, Sunny Hills senior Michael Becker of Fullerton, Bolsa Grande senior Neeraj Srivastava of Garden Grove and Capistrano Valley junior Bruce Battoe of Mission Viejo, who won $100 each for honorable mention.

Additionally, the bar association recognized the financial contributions of First American Title Insurance Co. and the R.C. Baker Foundation toward bar-sponsored projects, especially the Shortstop program, which is aimed at helping juveniles who have minor delinquency problems.

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