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Miramonte Rules In The Courtroom – Cal High, Acalanes, Alhambra Impress

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From Contra Costa County Office of Education:

After remarks given by Contra Costa County’s Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata and Presiding Judge Jill Fannin, followed by speeches made by coaches and individual awards presented to exceptional-performing students, the 36th Annual Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial’s Awards Ceremony concluded with the naming of this year’s championship team: Miramonte High (Orinda). Miramonte beat California High (San Ramon), in the final round of Mock Trials, inside the Bray Courthouse, in Martinez. This is second year in a row Miramonte has earned top team honors.

Also noteworthy, Acalanes High (Lafayette) defeated Alhambra High (Martinez) in the same evening’s consolation match.

This year’s top four teams were ranked: 1) Miramonte, 2) California, 3) Acalanes, 4) Alhambra.

Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Jill Fannin was on hand to address the large crowd with amusing stories about her Mock Trial experiences while attending law school – which many of the students could relate. “I’ve been involved with Mock Trials for 20 years, as a scoring attorney and presiding judge, said Judge Fannin. “It’s still so much fun to watch your hard work and talent come together in our courtrooms. At work, I often hear my fellow judges, who volunteer with Mock Trials, speak so highly of how well you all did the night before, during your matches. We are all so impressed! ”

Most of the teams begin their Mock Trial training when they began the new school year – which makes Mock Trials one of the longest seasons of all the participating schools’ sports and academic activities.

For the past four weeks (seven evenings), Miramonte High School and 15 other Contra Costa County high school Mock Trial teams have been battling it out with each other inside the superior courthouse courtrooms of Martinez. Miramonte High School will now represent Contra Costa County at the California State Mock Trial competition, held in Riverside, California, March 24-26. The California state finalist team will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held May 11-13, Hartford, Connecticut.

Teams from the following 16 Contra Costa County high schools competed:

Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Clayton Valley Charter (Concord), De Anza High (Richmond), Deer Valley Law Academy (Antioch), El Cerrito (El Cerrito), Hercules Middle/High (Hercules), Heritage (Brentwood), Kennedy (Richmond), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Miramonte (Orinda), Monte Vista (Danville), Pinole Valley (Pinole), Richmond (Richmond).

For all the team and individual results, visit the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Mock Trial Web page for complete team and individual results.

Mock Trial is an academic event for high school students coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.

The purpose of this program is to teach students about the law and the workings of the legal system. To prepare, the students conducted legal research and received guidance on courtroom procedures from their schoolteachers and volunteer attorneys and judges, to acquire a working knowledge of the judicial system.

This year, an impressive 100 Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys, senior law students, and sworn judges volunteered their time to serve as Mock Trial Attorney Scorers and Judges. These volunteers represented judges from Bay Area Superior Courts, the California Bankruptcy Court, the California Supreme Court, and the California Appellate Court. Attorney Scorers included Bay Area attorneys from county District Attorney and Public Defender offices, the State Attorney General’s Office, and the California Department of Justice. Also assisting, were non-profit, public, private, and corporate attorneys. In addition, senior students from five Bay Area law schools lent a hand in scoring.