High School Teams Test Skills at Regional Mock Trial Tournament

February 24, 2003
Contact: Matt Silverman, Director of Communications (602)340-7226
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 24, 2003) - Students from 20 Maricopa County high schools will demonstrate their understanding of the legal process on Saturday, March 1, 2003 at the 21st Annual Arizona High School Mock Trial Regional Tournament. The competition will be held at the Maricopa County Superior Court, 201 W. Jefferson in Phoenix. It is sponsored by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education and the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Arizona.

Each mock trial team is composed of six to eight students who study a fictional court case and prepare to act out the roles of attorneys and witnesses. A predetermined set of facts is distributed to each team prior to the contest for participants to prepare both the prosecution and defense sides of the case. A judge determines the winning team based on the merits of the case and performance of the students.

This year the hypothetical case focuses on what sentence should be given to a teenager convicted of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. As charged, under Arizona law, the 17-year-old faces a mandatory prison sentence of 5 to 15 years. Arizona law requires that the teenager be treated as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime committed even though he was underage at the time. The hearing is an aggravation/mitigation hearing.

Volunteer judges, commissioners and attorneys of Maricopa County will judge the case. The Mock Trial is a community educational effort, involving the efforts of hundreds of members of the legal and education community, designed to teach the judicial system and citizenship skills to high school students in an enjoyable format.

The top 16 teams from the seven regional competitions will advance to the state tournament, which will be held on March 22. The State Champion will represent Arizona in the National Competition in New Orleans, Louisiana in May.

Saturday’s all-day tournament begins at 8:45 a.m. and takes place in the central and east court buildings of the Maricopa County Superior Court. For more information about the regional tournament contact David Rosen, (602) 257-7971.

Participating High Schools
2003 Maricopa County Regional High School Mock Trial Tournament

Arcadia High School
Arizona School for the Arts
Barry Goldwater High School
Brophy College Preparatory School
Central High School
Chaparral High School
Deer Valley High School
Desert Mountain High School
Dysart High School
Maryvale High School
Mountain Ridge High School
North Pointe Preparatory
Peoria High School
Phoenix Country Day School
Red Mountain High School
Seton Catholic High School
Shadow Mountain High School
South Mountain High School
Sunnyslope High School
Xavier College Preparatory School

About the Foundation
The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education plays a leading role in preparing Arizona students for civic responsibility. The Foundation educates 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 the home of LawForKids.org, America’s first Web site dedicated to teaching students about the law. The Foundation also grants funds to non-profit organizations that provide free legal assistance to the poor so all people in Arizona can have a voice in our justice system.