Tucson’s Sahuaro High School Takes Top Honors at State Mock Trial Tournament

March 30, 2004
Contact: Sarah Ramos (602)340-7362
PDFPrint Press Release

PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 30, 2004) – Students from Tucson’s Sahuaro High School (red team) placed first at the Arizona State High School Mock Trial Tournament, in which students demonstrate their knowledge of the judicial process and a courtroom trial. On Saturday March 27th, 2004, the Sahuaro High School team took top honors for the third straight year. The competition is sponsored and administered by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Arizona and the Young Lawyers of Arizona and was held this year in the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

Students from 16 Arizona high school teams prepared for the competition by studying the legal system, including what roles judges, lawyers, bailiffs, juries, and witnesses play in the system, the rules of evidence and proper courtroom decorum. During the tournament, the teams prepared the prosecution and defense sides of a case for a simulated courtroom trial. Judges determine the winning team based on the merits of the case and performance of the students.

This year’s case was 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.

Sahuaro High School’s white team finished second, Northland Prepatory in Flagstaff finished third, and Chaparral High School from Scottsdale finished fourth. The Sahuaro High School red team will represent Arizona at the National High School Mock Trial Competition May 6th-9th in Orlando, Florida.

Several students received special recognition by the judges for their outstanding performance at the mock trial competition. They include:

• Danny Kimbel (Desert Mountain)
• Julia Ushakova (Globe)
• Jenna Perry (Sahuaro-Red)
• Shiva Kiani (Mountain Ridge)
• Kyle Esham (Sahuaro-Red)
• Lisa Skousen (Antelope)

Helpful Websites
• Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education – http://www.azflse.org
• Arizona High School Mock Trial Program – http://www.azflse.org/mocktrial
• National Mock Trial Program -- http://www.nationalmocktrial.org

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 www.LawForKids.org, 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.