First Round of Riverside County Mock Trial Competition Begins in Indio, Murrieta, and Riverside

#MockTrialRivCo winning team celebrates

Mock Trial teams from across the county are ready to compete for the 2020 Riverside County Mock Trial championship title. Round 1 competition starts Thursday, February 6 and ends with semi-final and final rounds on Saturday, February 29.

RIVERSIDE – A technology start-up founder of self-driving trucks accused of murdering a spouse is the focus of a fictitious court trial that 26 local high school teams will adjudicate at the 38th Annual Riverside County Mock Trial starting on February 6, in Indio, Murrieta, and Riverside.

Mock Trial involves students arguing cases in front of real judges, and 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 38th 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.

The fictional case materials provide the facts and legal background for this year’s trial, People v. Matsumoto. The trial is focused on Bailey Matsumoto, the founder of a technology start-up that develops autonomous (self-driving) trucks. Bailey is charged with the murder of Bailey’s spouse, Taylor Matsumoto.

The opening rounds will take place on Thursday, February 6, in three locations across Riverside County (first team listed is prosecution, second team is defense):

Desert – Larson Justice Center, 46-200 Oasis Street, Indio

  • Indio HS vs. Palm Desert HS
  • Xavier College Preparatory vs. Ramona HS
  • Palm Valley HS vs. La Quinta HS
  • Coachella Valley HS vs. Palo Verde HS

Riverside – Robert Presley Hall of Justice, 4100 Main Street, Riverside

  • Santiago HS vs. Arlington HS
  • Valley View HS vs. Poly HS
  • Patriot HS vs. John W. North HS
  • Martin Luther King HS vs. Notre Dame HS

Southwest – Southwest Justice Center, 30755-D Auld Road, Murrieta

  • Murrieta Valley HS vs. Hemet HS
  • Heritage HS vs. Paloma Valley HS
  • Temecula Valley HS (Gold) vs. Great Oak HS
  • Temecula Valley HS (Silver) vs. Temecula Preparatory
  • San Jacinto HS vs. Chaparral HS

Find a complete listing of the schedules and locations for all rounds of the competition on the Mock Trial page.

An awards ceremony recognizing the blue ribbon award winners, the elite eight final teams, and the announcement of paid internship recipients will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Bourns Technology Center. The semi-finals will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the Riverside Historic Courthouse with the final round of competition starting at 1 p.m.

The winning team will represent the county at the California Mock Trial competition to be hosted in Los Angeles on March 20-22, 2020. The National Mock Trial Competition will be held May 6-9, 2019, in Evansville, Indiana.

In 2019, Riverside’s Poly High School defeated Martin Luther King High School in the Riverside County Mock Trial finals. Third place was shared by Murrieta Valley High School and Valley View High School.

Riverside County Mock Trial Historical Results:

  • 2019 – Poly High School
  • 2018 – Martin Luther King High School
  • 2017 – Poly High School
  • 2016 – Poly High School
  • 2015 – Hemet High School
  • 2014 – Poly High School
  • 2013 – Poly High School
  • 2012 – Poly High School
  • 2011 – Poly High School
  • 2010 – Woodcrest Christian High School
  • 2009 – Poly High School
  • 2008 – Temecula Valley High School
  • 2007 – Martin Luther King High School
  • 2006 – Woodcrest Christian High School
  • 2005 – Poly High School
  • 2004 – Poly High School
  • 2003 – Poly High School
  • 2002 – Poly High School
  • 2001 – Arlington High School
  • 2000 – John W. North High School
  • 1999 – Woodcrest Christian High School
  • 1998 – Temecula Valley High School
  • 1997 – Corona High School
  • 1996 – Poly High School
  • 1995 – Norte Vista High School
  • 1994 – Arlington High School**
  • 1993 – Arlington High School
  • 1992 – Poly High School
  • 1991 – Poly High School
  • 1990 – Poly High School
  • 1989 – John W. North High School
  • 1988 – Poly High School
  • 1987 – Poly High School
  • 1986 – John W. North High School
  • 1985 – Ramona High School
  • 1984 – Ramona High School
  • 1983 – Perris High School

** Mock Trial National Champion