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Bella Vista H.S. Team Wins 2020 Moot Court Competition

High School Students Argue Fictional Case Before Local Judges

Bella Vista High School team holding plaques

Bella Vista High School (Team 1) won the 2020 Moot Court Competition.

Over the past month, high school student attorneys have been raising serious legal questions in court. Did a school district interfere with the rights of students to form clubs whose views might offend some people? Did a district violate a student’s First Amendment rights on grounds that a T-shirt was indecent or offensive?

After extensive deliberation, a panel of judges hearing a fictional case (Biff Tannen, et al. v. Sackamenna Unified School District) ruled last night that the attorneys for Bella Vista High School (Team 1) made the most convincing arguments, winning the 41st annual Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Moot Court Competition. Mira Loma High School (Team 2) placed second.

Third District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vance W. Raye, along with Justices Ronald B. Robie and Elena J. Duarte, presided over the final round, held at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building (3rd District Court of Appeal) in downtown Sacramento.

2020 Sacramento County Moot Court Competition Results

  • 1st Place: Bella Vista High School (Team 1)—San Juan Unified
  • 2nd Place: Mira Loma High School (Team 2)—San Juan Unified
  • 3rd Place: Mira Loma High School (Team 7)—San Juan Unified
  • 4th Place: Christian Brothers High School (Team 1)

About Moot Court

The Moot Court Competition is an appellate-level proceeding in which high school students prepare and argue a case before a three-judge panel. Judges evaluate participants on the quality and persuasiveness of their legal reasoning and presentation, along with their unscripted responses to spontaneous questions from the bench. The competition provides students the opportunity to learn about constitutional law and develop crucial public speaking and debate skills. A typical Moot Court team consists of three to six students.

Moot Court is sponsored by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) in an effort to educate young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society.