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Congratulations to all the high school teams who have been chosen to participate in this year's upcoming mock trials at the Madera Courthouse. Good luck, everyone!

Madera County’s Mock Trial Students Ready for Court

MADERA COUNTY–Tobie Clark is on trial for murder during this year’s Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial on February 7, 13, 15, and 27.

The Mock Trial is a simulation of a court case where high school students act as attorneys, witnesses, clerks and bailiffs. This year students will try the fictional case People vs. Clark.

Also, Mock Trial students will discuss the Fourth Amendment during the pretrial and whether or not evidence obtained from geofence is admissible.

High school students from Madera High, Madera South High, Matilda Torres High, and Yosemite High School are competing.

Image of Dr. Cecilia Massetti.

Dr. Cecilia Massetti.

“We are pleased to offer this incredible learning experience for students in Madera County for it’s 40th year,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “Over the years, students have acquired knowledge about the workings of our justice system and demonstrated public speaking skills, research, and analytical skills throughout performances.”

Madera County Superintendent of Schools and Madera County Schools Foundation will hold this fictional court case at the Madera Courthouse. The Madera County Superior Court is co-sponsoring the competition.

The Honorable Edward P. Moffat Mock Trial began on Wednesday, February 7 at the Madera Courthouse. On Tuesday, February 13, the second round of trials takes place, and the last set of regular competition trials happens on Thursday, February 15. All weekday trials begin at 1:30 p.m.

Image of the Madera County Schools Foundation logo.

The championship trial will take place on Tuesday, February 27 at the Madera Courthouse, 200 South G Street Madera, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The two highest scoring teams from the previous rounds will compete in a winner-take-all competition to advance to the state finals in Los Angeles.

The Mock Trial awards ceremony takes place on Thursday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the office of Madera County Superintendent of Schools. An announcement of the two teams advancing to the championship round will be made.  Also, nominated students will receive honorable mention and outstanding student certificates. All students will receive a certificate of participation and pin.

Judge Blea, Judge Enos, Judge LiCalsi, and Judge Vogt will preside over the trials this year.

Each school will provide a prosecution and defense team. Rounds consist of one school’s defense team going up against another school’s prosecution team. All teams will compete against each school at least one time during competition.

The Mock Trial is designed to help students with understanding the workings of legal institutions. The teams coaches are volunteer attorneys in courtroom procedures and trial preparations.

“This hands-on program provides immediate feedback and assessment from experts and connects students with local attorneys who serve as mentors for school teams,” said Massetti.

Attorneys and legal professionals from throughout the Valley will volunteer as scoring attorneys at the trial. Volunteers include: Jeff Dupras, Sally Moreno, Steve Mortimer, Ryan Porte, Isela Welz, and Traci Wise.

The winner of the competition will advance to the state competition March 22-24, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA.

Image of the Yosemite High School winning team.

2022-23 Yosemite High School mock trial winning team.

In 2010 the Mock Trial was renamed to the Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial in honor of the late Judge Moffat who was a longtime supporter of the program.

California Rights Foundation provided the trial cases.

For more information, contact Kristi Winter, Coordinator, Student Events, Madera County Superintendent of Schools at 559-662-3873.

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