Mock Trial Tournament Tests Students’ Knowledge of the Law

March 22, 2004
Contact: Sarah Ramos (602)340-7362
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 22, 2004) – Sixteen high school teams from across the state will take part in a simulated courtroom trial to test their understanding of the legal system at the Arizona High School Mock Trial State Tournament on Saturday, March 27th, 2004. The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education and the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Arizona are sponsoring the competition.

The 16 teams advanced to the state finals after participating in one of eight regional tournaments held in Globe, Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Yuma on March 6th, 2004. A total of 110 teams participated in regional competitions.

At the state tournament, a predetermined set of facts is distributed to each team prior to the contest for participants to prepare both the prosecution and defense side of the case.

This year’s case is a civil matter involving a hypothetical car-bicycle accident. Each of the parties in the case claims negligence: the bicyclist claims that the driver caused the accident by talking on his cell phone while driving, and the driver claims that the bicyclist caused the accident because he wasn’t riding his bicycle safely.

Each mock trial team is composed of six to eight students who act as both attorneys and witnesses. Judges determine the winning team based on the merits of the case and the students’ performance.

Judges from Arizona’s Superior Courts, the Arizona Supreme Court, the Federal Courts, and the city courts will judge the competition, along with over 40 Arizona attorneys.

The all-day mock trial tournament begins at 8 a.m. on March 27th, and takes place at the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse, 401 W. Washington Street.

The winner will represent Arizona at the national competition in Orlando, Florida May 6th – 9th 2004.

The following teams will participate in the Arizona High School Mock Trial state tournament on March 27th, 2004:

• Antelope High School -Yuma
• Kofa High School-Yuma
• Desert Mountain-Scottsdale
• Globe High School
• Mountain Ridge-Glendale
• Deer Valley – Glendale
• Sahuaro -Tucson (3 teams) • Xavier College Prep-Phoenix
• Central High School-Phoenix
• Amphitheater High School-Tucson
• Chaparral High School-Scottsdale
• Brophy College Prep-Phoenix
• Northland Prep. Academy-Flagstaff
• Sinagua-Flagstaff

About the Foundation
The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education plays a leading role in preparing Arizona students for civic responsibility. The Foundation reaches more than 100,000 children by training teachers, school resource officers and probation officers about our laws, justice system and the foundations of democracy. It is also home of, America’s first Web site dedicated to teaching students about the law. The Foundation also awards nearly $2 million in grants to more than 20 non-profit organizations providing legal services to those in need, so all people in Arizona can have a voice in our justice system.