http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/02/15/students-run-mock-trails-all-this-month


Danville Express

Newsfront - February 15, 2008

Students run mock trails all this month

Contra Costa County's future lawyers, district attorneys, judges, court reporters and courtroom artists are getting their judicial feet wet at the 27th annual Mock Trial being held Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout February at the Martinez Superior Court.

Mock Trial is an academic event for high school students, coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). The hands-on educational program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, and to develop analytical abilities and communication skills.

Each year, the Constitutional Rights Foundation creates a trial case based on an important issue facing America's youth. This year's case is People v. Palmer, a murder trial. Teams of high school students work with teachers and attorney coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, from both the prosecution and defense perspectives. Real life judges and attorneys score their performance and provide immediate feedback.

Teams from both Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley high schools are competing. The two highest-scoring teams will advance to the finals Feb. 26. The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside on March 28-30. The California state finalist will compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held in Wilmington, Del., on May 8-10.

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