From the Contra Costa County Office of Education:
PLEASANT HILL, Calif. — For the fifth-consecutive year, California High School has claimed the Contra Costa County Mock Trials championship, the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday evening.
California High School, led by Coach Brian Barr, defeated Miramonte High School in the final trial held on Tuesday night and will represent the county at the California Mock Trial Finals in March. The final trial was presided over by Superior Court Judge Joni Hiramoto and scored by a panel of four attorneys. The championship trial can be viewed on the CCCOE YouTube channel.
De La Salle High School placed third after it defeated Dougherty Valley High School in the consolation trial.
“Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this annual event. It takes a lot of hard work, commitment and dedication to participate in this competition,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “Mock Trial is unlike any other program that exists in our county because of the partnership that exists between education, the court system and the community.”
Hosted by CCCOE, the 41st-annual Mock Trial competition was held virtually for the second straight year due to COVID-19 concerns. Sixteen schools from around Contra Costa County competed from January 25 – February 15. Additionally, more than 100 judges, local attorneys and volunteers signed up to preside over or score a trial or serve as a courtroom coordinator.
The team winner and individual award winners were also announced on Thursday night.
Casey Scheiner from Miramonte High School was the courtroom journalist winner and Sadie Poole from Acalanes High School won the courtroom artist competition. To read the first-place article and drawing, visit the Mock Trial page on the CCCOE website.
In the quarterfinals, top-seeded De La Salle defeated Alhambra, and fourth-seeded Miramonte defeated fifth-seeded Deer Valley to advance to the semis. Third-seeded Dougherty Valley bested sixth-seeded Campolindo, while California, the seventh seed, upset second-seeded Acalanes.
Carondelet High School, El Cerrito High School, De Anza High School, Heritage High School, Hercules High School, Richmond High School, Las Lomas High School and San Ramon High School also participated in the Mock Trial competition.
Each team works with teacher and attorney coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, both from the prosecution and defense perspectives. Students assume the roles of trial attorneys, pretrial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks and bailiffs. Through these role-playing techniques, students learn about the content and processes of law in an exciting and vibrant way. By studying the case and preparing strategies and arguments for trial, students also increase their public speaking skills, analytical abilities, and team cooperation. This year’s competition featured a murder trial, People v. Cobey, in which a tenant was accused of murdering their landlord by putting a rattlesnake into the mailbox.
The Mock Trial program is sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, which hosts the California state competition.
Watch tonight’s awards show and view the full list of honorees on the CCCOE YouTube Channel or the Contra Costa County Mock Trials results page.
1st – California High School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District)
2nd – Dougherty Valley High School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District)
3rd – De La Salle High School (Concord, Calif.)
4th – Miramonte High School (Acalanes Union High School District)
OUTSTANDING COURTROOM JOURNALIST
1st – Casey Scheiner, Miramonte High School (Acalanes Union High School District)
2nd – Shiphrah Moses, California High School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District)
T3rd – Lyanne Wang, Acalanes High School (Acalanes Union High School District)
T3rd – Nicholas Harvey, California High School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District)
OUSTANDING COURTROOM ARTIST
1st – Sadie Pool, Acalanes High School (Acalanes Union High School District)
2nd – Sathvika Sitaraman, California High School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District)
3rd – Carol Chen, California High School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District)