Four Local High School Teams Advance to Final Weekend of Riverside County Mock Trial Competition

Returning champion Poly High School will face Ramona High School while Murrieta Valley High School matches up with King High School in semifinals immediately followed by the final round.

RIVERSIDE – After five rounds of courtroom competition, legal teams from four local high schools have advanced to the final four at the 35th Annual Riverside County Mock Trial Competition. The semifinals will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2018, while the final round will start promptly at 1 p.m. at the Riverside Historic Courthouse (4050 Main Street, Riverside).

The pairings for the semifinal rounds are as follows (first team listed is the prosecution, second team will be the defense):

  • Poly High School vs. Ramona High School
  • Martin Luther King High School vs. Murrieta Valley High School

The competition is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending are encouraged to arrive early as seating is extremely limited and late entry will not be permitted. Overflow seating will only be available for final round. Following the final round, an awards presentation will feature medals and trophies for placing first, second, and third (two third place teams rather than third and fourth place).

This year’s mock trial case involves the death of a member of an extremist nationalist group while another young man from the same town is on trial for murder. The alleged crime is the subject of the fictional court case that more than 500 students from high schools in Riverside County have been arguing during multiple rounds of competition in Indio, Murrieta, and Riverside courtrooms since February 8, 2018.

Mock Trial involves students arguing cases in front of real judges, and scored by real attorneys. The competition is open to all students in grades 9 through 12 enrolled in public and private high schools in Riverside County. Teams consist of 8-25 students filling the courtroom roles of defense and prosecution attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and more.

This year, student competitors have been arguing the fictional case of People v. Davidson. The trial focuses on Casey Davidson who faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Alex Thompson, a member of the extremist Ulta Nats group. In 2017, Poly High School (Riverside USD) defeated Great Oak High School (Temecula Valley USD) to clinch their 17th title in the 34-year history of the competition in Riverside County.

The winning team will represent the county at the California Mock Trial competition to be hosted in Orange County on March 16-18, 2018. The National Mock Trial Competition will be held on May 10-12, 2018, in Reno, Nevada.

The Riverside County Mock Trial is sponsored by the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE), the Riverside County Bar Association (RCBA), and the Riverside County Superior Courts, in cooperation with the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF). Since 1983, more than 13,500 Riverside County students have participated in Mock Trial.