Poly High School’s Mock Trial team defeated Martin Luther King High School to regain championship and become the 2019 Riverside County Mock Trial Champions.RIVERSIDE – After weeks of competition, the 37th Annual Riverside County Mock Trial competition came down to two Riverside Unified School District high schools squaring off again in the historic downtown courthouse on Saturday, March 2, 2019, and ended with Poly High School defeating Martin Luther King High School for the championship.
Poly’s victory represents their 18 championship in Riverside County Mock Trial history after previously finishing second to Martin Luther King last year. Third place was shared by Murrieta Valley High School and Valley View High School.
The final four teams entered the courtroom after weeks of competition in courtrooms across the county. In the morning’s semifinal rounds, Poly High School advanced to the finals after defeating Murrieta Valley High School and King High School beat out Valley View High School to reach the final round.
Poly High School will now represent the county at the California Mock Trial competition to be hosted in Sacramento on March 22-24, 2019. The National Mock Trial Competition will be held May 10-12, 2019, in Athens, Georgia.
This year’s mock trial case centers on celebrity “swatting” hoaxes aimed at fraudulently claiming the need for emergency services. The fictional case materials provide the facts and legal background for this year’s trial, People v. Klein. People v. Klein is the trial of Reagan Klein, a young adult resident of the fictional town of East Flamingo, California. Reagan is charged with two felony counts: making a false report of an emergency (in this case, commonly referred to as “swatting”) and making a criminal threat.
The competition started in early February with 24 local high school teams who argue cases in front of real judges, and are scored by practicing 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.
Attorneys, judges, and legal professionals from across Riverside County are among the 14,000 students who have participated in Mock Trial now in its 37th year of competition. The month-long competition is sponsored by Riverside County Superior Courts, the Riverside County Bar Association, and the Riverside County Office of Education.
In 2018, Riverside’s Martin Luther King High School defeated Poly High School in the finals to capture their first title since 2007 and advance to the state competition. Third place was shared by Murrieta Valley High School and Ramona High School.