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SCOE to Coordinate Mock Trial and Moot Court Competitions

Sacramento County Competitions Scheduled for Mid-February 2011

Scales of Justice illustration

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is pleased to announce that it will coordinate the Gordon D. Schaber Mock Trial and Moot Court Program for the 2010–11 school year.

The Mock Trial competition simulates a trial-level proceeding in which students portray the roles of pre-trial counsel, prosecuting and defense attorneys, witnesses, court clerks, bailiffs, and jurors before a single presiding judge and two scoring judges. It includes courtroom art and courtroom journalism competitions.

The Moot Court competition is an appellate-level proceeding in which students prepare and argue a case before a panel of three judges that evaluates participants on the quality and persuasiveness of their legal reasoning and presentation, as well as their unscripted responses to spontaneous questions from the bench. The county Mock Trial winner advances to a statewide competition.

School teams and students compete for individual, county, and competition titles.

"High school law court programs are excellent extracurricular activities that encourage leadership, critical thinking, and organization," said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. "The County Office is proud to coordinate the Mock Trial and Moot Court programs."

Last year in Sacramento County, 20 teams and nearly 375 students participated in Mock Trial, and eight teams and approximately 55 students competed in Moot Court. More than 150 legal professionals and judicial leaders volunteer to help educate youth about the courts, assess participants' skills, and provide real-world perspectives on the rule of law.

SCOE will coordinate a Mock Trial coaches meeting on Monday, October 4, 2010, and a Moot Court coach meeting on Thursday, October 7, 2010, to provide more information about the program. These meetings will take place from 4–5 p.m. in the Mather Room at the David P. Meaney Education Center.

The competition rounds are scheduled for the month of February 2011. In addition, SCOE is looking forward to developing partnerships with the local legal community to ensure the program's future.

Anyone with questions about the Mock Trial or Moot Court competitions should call (916) 228-2660.