Mock trial – just the facts | PostIndependent.com
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Mock trial – just the facts

The Colorado Bar Association coordinates the Colorado High School Mock Trial Program for state high school teams. Since the program’s inception more than 20 years ago, Mock Trial has grown to include more than 90 high schools that compete in district matches to qualify for the state tournament. The Glenwood Springs High School Mock Trial team holds the Colorado record for the most consecutive state championships in a row – four.Q: How is mock trial conducted?A: Six to 12 students who perform a case for the prosecution/plaintiff and defense/respondent comprise a mock trial team. In most cases, a Colorado judge or magistrate presides over the trial round, while two to three attorneys score the student performances. In any mock trial round, three students serve as attorneys to argue their side of the case, and three students serve as witnesses for direct- and cross-examinations.Q: How is mock trial scored?A: Student performances are scored on program criteria that outline several elements of performance as a witness or as a prosecution or defense attorney. Points are awarded for each student performance; no verdicts are given in mock trial. Performances are scored on knowledge and use of the Rules of Evidence, trial procedures, witness character portrayals, and the conviction of each side’s argument.Q: How is mock trial organized?A: In February, teams participate in their regional tournament – the first level of competition. Regional tournaments are held in courtrooms where teams argue both sides of a case during trial rounds. Local judges preside over the rounds and attorneys evaluate the students’ performances. Finishers of regional tournaments advance to compete in the state championship tournament in March. After being named the Colorado State Mock Trial Champion, the team participates in the National High School Mock Trial Championship tournament over Mother’s Day weekend in May.Source: Colorado Bar Association


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