Mock Trial has been a tradition in San Joaquin County for over 30 years. In this true-to-life competition, high school teams debate fictitious cases before presiding superior and municipal court judges and scoring attorneys. Cases involve contemporary issues and pre-trial arguments on the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The teams are made up of high school students who portrayed the roles of attorneys, witnesses, defendants, clerks, and bailiffs. Teams may also include a courtroom artist and journalist. The Constitutional Rights Foundation creates the Mock Trial case and pretrial for students and teams across the state of California.
Each round of the Mock Trial competition is reviewed and scored by volunteer scoring attorneys. These volunteers graciously donate their time and talents to help make the annual San Joaquin County Office of Education Mock Trial Competition possible. Volunteer judges from the Superior Courthouse of San Joaquin preside over the case and give a verdict, but it is ultimately the scores of the scoring attorneys that decide a champion.
The 2018 Mock Trial Championship came down to the teams of Venture Academy and Mountain House High School. In the end, Venture was declared the champion and will represent San Joaquin County at the state Mock Trial competition in late March. Chloe Porath from ABLE was awarded the Judge Cruickshank award. Chloe is a 4 year Mock Trial student who represents the spirit of the Mock Trial competition.
The Mock Trial competition taps into students’ passions for law and challenges them to perform in front a judge, scoring attorneys and a courtroom full of observers. The competition is much more than the plaques at the end, it is about being a part of a team, it is about improving your writing through questions and arguments, it is about being prepared to think quickly and gaining confidence.
The event is sponsored by the San Joaquin County Office of Education, the San Joaquin County Bar Foundation and Premier Community Credit Union. Scoring attorney and judges are always needed. For more information on volunteering or helping to coach a team, contact Annie Cunial at email@example.com