Concord, Calif. - Has your son ever imagined himself as an attorney arguing a case in a real courtroom? Or maybe he’s a budding actor who really loves the chance to get into character for an audience? The Mock Trial class might be the perfect fit for a Social Studies elective next year!
This interdisciplinary course, which is taught by an experienced trial attorney, is designed to allow students to acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop public speaking and debate skills, and have a hands-on courtroom experience. Central to this course is the California Mock Trial Program.
The California Mock Trial Program is an academic competition between California high schools in which mock trials are held before real trial judges in actual trial courtrooms. The mock trials are scored by practicing attorneys. Each year, the mock trials are based on a fictional criminal case which is created by the Constitutional Rights Foundation (www.crf-usa.org).
Each mock trial team is composed of a Prosecution Team (four prosecution attorneys and four prosecution witnesses), a Defense Team (four defense attorneys and four defense witnesses, including the defendant), a court clerk, a bailiff, and alternates. In Contra Costa County, 16 to 18 teams compete against each other. The mock trials begin in January and run through February. Each team is guaranteed four mock trials, two for the prosecution and two for the defense. After that, the top eight go to quarterfinals, then to semifinals, and then to finals. The winning team from each California county is invited to compete in the California State Finals which are held in March. The winner of the California State Finals is invited to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Championship which is held in May.
The Mock Trial program can be found not only in high school, but also in colleges and law schools.
STATUS: UC/CSU & NCAA Approved
LEVEL: 10th, 11th and 12th Grade