Mock trials have proven to be an effective learning tool for students of all grade levels. It helps them understand the law, practice critical thinking, and gain greater confidence with public speaking by assuming the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a fictional criminal or civil trial. Participants experience first-hand the difficulties that judges, lawyers and juries face in determining which facts are relevant and what legal arguments are effective.
Mock Trial High School Competition
This year’s criminal case is timely. It involves a teen driver, texting, a winding road, and an accident that takes a life. Mark your calendars for March 3, when seven regional high school mock trial competitions will happen across the state, from La Grande to Portland. Finals are at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, March 16-17.
Each year, more than 70 teams, totaling some 1,200 students, compete at regional, state and national levels — with support from more than 500 attorneys, educators and other community representatives acting as coaches, judges and coordinators.
The 2018 High School Mock Trial Case:
Mock Trial 1718 State v DeLuca_rev. 01.26.2018
|March 3||Regional competitions, statewide|
|March 16-17||State competition, Portland|
|May 10-12||National competition, Reno, NV|
Greetings, Mock Trial Competitors!
This is the place where official answers to questions asked by teams to the Mock Trial Listserv are posted. Answers appear approximately weekly, usually on Fridays. Official notices such as team letter codes and information specific to regions are also posted here. Teams are responsible for information and announcements posted by Classroom Law Project to the Mock Trial Listserv and website.
On a different note and personal note, this hello is also a goodbye. I am retiring Jan. 31st from Classroom Law Project after 20 years and where mock trial has been a highlight. You remain in excellent hands with Senior Program Manager Cari Zall and Executive Director Marilyn Cover. I send hearty wishes and buckets of good will to students for learning about the third branch, and profound gratitude to teachers and coaches for guiding them. –Barbara Rost, Classroom Law Project Program Director
Week 1, 1/28/18: 1stQ/A-Exhibit 1; New Stipulation; Regions, and Team Letter Codes
Q/A – Exhibit 1
- There seems to be a discrepancy between the crash diagram and two of the affidavits. Vehicle two is facing east on the diagram, but both Garcia and Cole claim in their affidavits that it came to a resting position facing west. (We are assuming that the top of the diagram is north and that the bottom is south.) Is this discrepancy intentional, is there an error in the materials, or are we simply interpreting the diagram incorrectly (a compass on the diagram would have been helpful)?
- Yes, you are correct; there is an error in the materials. The old, un-revised diagram was inadvertently printed. The revised diagram that should have been printed is attached and the online case has been changed accordingly.
A 5th stipulation is added to those listed on page 6 of the case materials. It is as follows:
- A Grand Jury met and issued a secret indictment for the arrest of Defendant DeLuca on a charge of manslaughter.
(Explanation: Oregon Revised Statutes allow police to issue a citation for a traffic violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony that could be treated as a misdemeanor. For a manslaughter charge, police would either make an arrest on scene, or the case would be taken to the grand jury and indicted secretly, after which a warrant would be issued for the person’s arrest on the charge the grand jury approved. )
Week 2, 2/02/18: 2-Use of Notes; 3-What Experts Know; 4-What Witnesses Know; 5-Villanueva Pronunciation; 6-Competition Schedules.
(Q1 is in Week 1’s Official Post)
Q2. It’s been a long time I’ve competed, so I was wondering what the rule is on the use of notes during the competition.
A2. This is a good reminder for rookie and veteran teams alike: use of notes is governed by Rule 40 in your case materials.
Q3. It seems like in the past the experts have had some sort of statement saying what materials they reviewed in order to prepare to testify. Can we assume they have reviewed and can testify about all the affidavits and exhibits, based on Rule 703?
A3. Yes, Rule 703 governs. Whether the expert does in fact review the other materials is, of course, up to the witness.
Q4. Are all witnesses presumed to be in the court during the testimony of other witnesses? If so, can they comment on what they hear during testimony?
A4. Yes, all witnesses are presumed to be in the courtroom; they are not sequestered. How much they hear of other witnesses’ testimony is up to them.
Q5. Can we get an agreed-upon pronunciation for “Villanueva”? Are the double Ls the Ls of Lama or Yama?
A5. As a professional courtesy, at the beginning of the trial teams are urged to ask each other how names are pronounced – Villanueva’s and others – likewise preferred pronouns. Witness Aziz Atwood, having been Villanueva’s neighbor, would likely know how her name is pronounced.
Q6. I’m trying to plan ahead, and this is the first year that we have taken part in this. Do you know the approximate time frame for the day, such as starting and ending times? Or do you know when that info might be released?
A6. Your Regional Coordinators should be in touch with you soon about your region’s schedule. When schedules are made available, they will be posted on the listserv and on our website.
Week 3, 2/09/18: 7-Closing; 8-Cole Timeframe; 9-Drawing on Exhibits; 10-Exhibit Sizes, 11-Exhibit Colors.
Q7. May the closing use exhibit one?
A7. Yes. Rule 42 governs Closing Arguments, which may include referencing exhibits.
Q8. The time frame on Cleevon Cole…at the time of the accident he had been on the police force for two months…at the time of testimony in court it states it had been two years?
A8. According to his testimony, Cole had been a police officer for two years. He had been in his current position for several months at the time of the accident.
Q9. My question is whether lawyers and witnesses are allowed to draw on exhibits for demonstration purposes?
A9. Rule 15 and Rule 4 govern here. Witnesses may be asked to point out items on an exhibit, but no extrapolation beyond the facts that have been provided is allowed.
Q10. My team is wondering if we can bring and use an enlarged version of the exhibits (in particular, Exhibit 1) during the trial. If so, if there’s a recommended or maximum size, please let us know that.
A10. Rule 15 governs here: “No enlargements of the case materials will be permitted.”
Q11. We note, too, that each of the exhibits has color and that the teams – during the competition – should be using color versions of the exhibits.
A11. Exhibits should be used as they appear in the case material provided by CLP on its website.
REMINDER: Regionals Competitions are SOON! – Saturday, March 3! Regional Coordinators will be sending out info about their competitions to teams, so please be prepared to read and comply with any rules or requirements for your competition locations.
Week 4, 2/16/18: 12 – Voir Dire; 13 – Listserv; 14 – Evidence/Volvo; 15 – Evidence/Text Time Stamp; 16 – Name Pronunciation
Q12. What are the rules on voir dire? There are no specific rules on whether it is allowed or not or the process or purpose that should be followed.
A12. There is no voir dire in Mock Trial because the “jury” are the 3 volunteer judges who will complete ballots for the teams.
Q13. Does the listserv need to be asked to be acknowledged during pre-trial and a printed copy available, or is it just assumed that all list serve answers are immediately in effect?
A13. All listserv answers supercede the trial materials and are immediately in effect once posted. They are also available on the Mock Trial Page of the CLP website and will be provided to judges prior to the competition.
Q14. Question concerning the 2008 blue Volvo V70: All Volvo’s of that era had bucket seats in the front. Knowing that, is it possible to argue someone laying down in the back seat might still be able to see the driver through the opening between the two seats.
A14. Because the model of the Volvo is provided in the evidence, it is a provable fact and within the scope of the case materials that it contained front bucket seats.
Q15. My tech savvy kids have pointed out that there could be an issue with the timestamps on the texts in exhibits 2 and 3. While they each have a time stamp on the top, in actual life that time stamp does not apply to all the texts in series and you can swipe left and see when each subordinate text in the series was actually sent. Surely any discussion along these lines would be outside the scope of the mock trial materials, right?
A15. Correct. Rule 4 governs here. Any assumption outside the facts provided in the evidence would be unfair extrapolation and outside the scope of the case materials.
Q16. This Q/A supersedes previous Q#5’s Answer regarding the pronunciation of the victim’s name.
A16. The victim’s last name should be pronounced the following way:
Week 5, 2/23/2018: 17 – Exhibits; 18 – Exhibits
Q17. Can an attorney ask to retrieve two pieces evidence at the same time from the clerk? For example, let’s say Ex. 1 & 2 are already introduced. Can the attorney state, “Your honor I am retrieving both Ex. 1 & 2 from the clerk, may I approach the witness?” Or should Exhibits be retrieved one at a time?
A17. Rule 39 Governs here, once an exhibit is introduced, attorneys may reference them for a new witness. There is no explicit prohibition from bringing more than one already introduced exhibits to the attention of a witness.
Q18. Can attorneys use an exhibit during Openings?
A18. No. Rule 39 regarding exhibits instructs attorneys to introduce exhibits when a witness is on the stand.
Regions and Team Letter Codes
Following is a list of the teams and the regions to which they have been assigned. Find your school on the list and check for your region, team colors (if you have 2 or 3 teams), etc. As always, if there is any change in your team’s plan to compete, please notify Classroom Law Project immediately because it affects a lot of planning.
If your region has an odd number of teams, please consider adding a team (at no charge). When there is an odd number, there has to be a bye. No one wants a bye.
Each team has a letter code. This two-letter code is how teams are identified during the regional and state competitions. Please be sure parents and supporters know their team’s letter code. Letter codes are not posted on the website.
All regional competitions are Saturday, March 3, at the county courthouse in the county indicated below. The state competition is Friday afternoon, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, at the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Portland.
Clackamas County – 12 (3 to state)
- Colton High School
- David Douglas High School Grey
- David Douglas High School Red
- Lake Oswego High School Navy
- Lake Oswego High School White
- Reynolds High School
- Sandy High School Black
- Sandy High School Crimson
- St. Stephen’s Academy
- West Linn Black
- West Linn High School Gold
- West Linn High School Green
Deschutes County – 6 (2 to state)
- Bend Senior High Blue
- Bend Senior High Gold
- Bend Senior High Rose
- Cascades Academy
- Summit High School Green
- Summit High School Silver
Eastern Oregon – 4 (1 to state)
- Baker High School
- La Grande High School Blue
- La Grande High School White
- Vale High School
Jackson County – 8 (2 to state)
- Crater Academy of Health & Public Services Black
- Crater Academy of Health & Public Services Orange
- Grants Pass High School Blue
- Grants Pass High School White
- Hidden Valley High School
- St. Mary’s School Blue
- St. Mary’s School Green
- St. Mary’s School White
Linn County – 9 (2 to state)
- Boys & Girls Club
- North Eugene Red
- North Eugene White
- Salem-Keizer Coalition
- South Eugene High School
- West Salem High School
- Willamette High School
- Yamhill Carlton
Multnomah County – 26 (5 to state)
- Benson High School
- Central Catholic High School
- Cleveland High School Gold
- Cleveland High School Green
- Franklin High School Gray
- Franklin High School Maroon
- Grant High School Blue
- Grant High School Gray
- Jefferson High School Blue
- Jefferson High School Gold
- Jesuit High School Black
- Jesuit High School Gold
- Jesuit High School Gold
- Lakeridge High School Blue
- Lakeridge High School Gold
- Lakeridge High School White
- Lincoln High School Red
- Lincoln High School White
- Parkrose High School Green
- Parkrose High School White
- Riverdale High School Blue
- Riverdale High School White
- St. Mary’s Academy Blue
- St. Mary’s Academy Silver
- St. Mary’s Academy White
- Wilson High School
Washington County – 14 (3 to state)
- Catlin Gabel School Blue
- Catlin Gabel School Silver
- Catlin Gabel School White
- Oregon Episcopal School Green
- Oregon Episcopal School Color?
- Southridge High School Black
- Southridge High School Red
- Sunset High School Gold
- Sunset High School Purple
- Valor Christian International
- Village Home Blue
- Village Home Green
- Westview High School Pink
- Westview high School Purple
Bill (William C) Knox, III, email@example.com
Competition Location: Clackamas County Courthouse
Competition Location: Deschutes County Courthouse
Kelsie J. Davis McDaniel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition Location: Union County Courthouse
Justin Rosas, email@example.com
Competition Location: Jackson County Courthouse
Competition Location: Linn County Courthouse
Classroom Law Project, firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition Location: Multnomah County Courthouse
Competition Location: Washington County Courthouse
Jackson County – 8 (2 to state)
Coordinator: Justin Rosas
Location: Jackson County Courthouse, 100 South Oakdale, Medford, OR 97501
8:00 – Orientation
8:30 – Round 1
10:45 – Round 2
12:45-2:00 Lunch (Provided by the Inn of Court this year)
2:00 – Round 3
4:15 – Awards
Multnomah County – 26 (5 to state)
Coordinators: CLP (Cari Zall & Mackendree Thompson)
Location: Multnomah County Courthouse, 1021 SW Fourth Avenue in downtown Portland
7:45 – Doors open (you will not be able to enter any earlier than this)
9:00 – Round 1 begins
9:15 – Jury Room opens
11:45 – Round 2 begins
2:15 – Round 3 begins
4:00 – Cleanup
4:30 – Advancing Teams Announcement
4:50 – Courthouse doors close and lock
Washington County – 14 (3 to state)
Coordinators: Elizabeth Lemoine, Hon. Andrew Erwin
Location: Washington County Courthouse located at 150 N. 1st Street in Hillsboro Oregon
7 AM – Doors Open
8 AM – Orientation Meeting
8:30-10:45 Round 1
11:15-1:30 Round 2
2:00-4:15 Round 3
4:45 (APPROX) Announcement of Teams Advancing to State
Location: Hatfield Federal Courthouse, 1000 SW Third Ave., Portland OR 97204
Fri., Mar. 16
3:15 Student Orientation
3:30 Parents and Friends’ Orientation
4:00 Round 1
Sat., Mar. 17
7:30 Doors open
8:30 Round 2
11:00 Round 3
2:00 Final championship round
Teams competing at State will be added after Regional Competitions conclude.
Friday, December 8, 2017 approx. 5:00pm-9:00pm
Multnomah County Courthouse (1021 SW Fourth Ave., Portland, OR 97204)
MiniMock is a free, scrimmage-type event that gives students an opportunity to gain experience, try out new roles and skills, and encourages high schools to start a team.
We strongly encourage schools to host their own MiniMock event. The MiniMock case materials are free and available to all.
Registration period October 2-7, 2017.
Because demand exceeds capacity, Classroom Law Project will have a lottery to decide the 32 teams that will participate in the MiniMock event.
Schools may register one or two teams.
Teams may be as large as desired; there is no limit on the number of students per team (unlike the competition)
For schools registering two teams, both teams will be in the event if the school’s name is drawn in the lottery. Since teams register as a single school (with one or two teams), no school is advantaged or disadvantaged in the lottery based on the number of teams it has. DO NOT register for two teams unless there will be two teams ready to go to trial on Dec. 8.
Oct. 2-7 MiniMock online registration period, www.classroomlaw.org
Oct. 10 Announce 32 teams selected from the lottery to participate in MiniMock
Dec. 8 MiniMock event at Multnomah County Courthouse
To order a DVD of a previous mock trial case, please select from the options below.
Case Archive: For a list and access to previous mock trial cases, please click here.
Just interested in putting on a mock trial with your class or community group without the commitment of the competition? Check out the extensive mock trial collection available for download on our Resource page.