During the month of February, high school student attorneys raised serious legal questions in a fictional appeal case. Did the district court err by concluding the school district didn’t entrap a student into violating the drug policy as a matter of law? Did the district court err in concluding the school district lawfully searched the student’s backpack?
The Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition simulates an appellate-level proceeding in which students prepare and argue a case before a panel of three judges. The judges evaluate the quality and persuasiveness of the students’ legal reasoning and presentation, as well as their unscripted responses to spontaneous questions from the panel of judges.
Third District Court of Appeal Justices Ronald B. Robie, Laurie M. Earl, and Andrea L. Hoch, presided over the final round, which was held on February 28, at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building (3rd District Court of Appeal) in downtown Sacramento. They heard arguments about a fictional case: Spencer Laredo v. Placerado Unified School District.
After extensive deliberation, Justices Robie, Earl, and Hoch ruled that the attorneys for Mira Loma High School made the most convincing arguments, winning the 44th annual competition. Bella Vista High School (Team 2) placed second.
“The Moot Court competition is yet another example of how civic learning—and all types of activities that surround civic education—teaches our youth how critical it is to be an informed, responsible, and contributing member of our society,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon.
2023 Sacramento County Moot Court Competition Results
- 1st Place: Mira Loma (Team 4)—San Juan USD
- 2nd Place: Bella Vista (Team 2)— San Juan USD
- 3rd Place: Mira Loma (Team 2)—San Juan USD
- 4th Place: Franklin HS (Team 1)—Elk Grove USD
About Moot Court
The Moot Court Competition is an appellate-level proceeding where legal arguments are presented. High school students prepare and argue a fictional case before a three-judge panel. Judges evaluate the students on the quality and persuasiveness of their legal reasoning and presentation, and 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.
- Sacramento County Moot Court Champions—historical list of winning teams
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.
About Gordon D. Schaber (1927–1997)
Gordon D. Schaber was a respected local attorney, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge, and the dean of McGeorge School of Law. While at McGeorge, Schaber developed an innovative education program called Moot Court, simulating an appellate-level court proceeding where students argue a case before a panel of three judges. Schaber was also known for his involvement with Mock Trial, both as a coach and a supporter. He became the director of the California Mock Trial Program in the late 1980s, serving for more than a decade. His contributions were recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the American Bar Association’s National Law-Related Education Award. The Sacramento Superior Court Building (the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse) is named in his honor.