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Yosemite High School Wins Mock Trial

Submitted by Kristi Winter

Yosemite High School has won the 2014-2015 Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial held on December 9, 10, and 11. Yosemite High School battled Liberty, Madera, and Dos Palos High Schools.

“It was a highly competitive event and we are proud of all of our teams,” said Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “Students learn so much about the court system through this experience.”

Yosemite High School will represent Madera County at the state competition March 20- 22, 2015, in Riverside, Calif. Team members include: Jocelyn Boe, Gianna DeFelice, Sabrina Garcia, Elise Keeler, Taylor Levee, Breeaunna, Lewis, Jaecie Madaus, Malory Meiss, Sophie O’Meara, Olivia Pearson, Laura Pearson, Alessia Quilla-Thayer, Erika Robichaux, Ellen Saunders, Katelyn Suderman, Sarah Swan, Jessica Tanoury. The team is coached by teacher Deborah Brown and attorney Bernard McGoldrick.

Madera County will also send a Courtroom Artist and Courtroom Journalist to the state competition. Libby Haggard from Yosemite High School won the Courtroom Artist competition. She sketched a courtroom scene during Tuesday’s trial.

Breeze Leal from Yosemite High School will represent Madera County as the winning Courtroom Journalist. Leal wrote a story based on Tuesday’s trial.

“We are excited to have students from Yosemite High School represent Madera County at the state competition,” said Massetti. “We wish them luck during the next round of competition.”

During the fictional case, People vs. Shem, Evan Shem was tried for theft by larceny for stealing the painting Treason.

Mock Trial students also discussed the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.

The Mock Trial is a simulation of a criminal court case in which the students act as attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and clerks. Attorneys from throughout the valley score the students’ performance.

This was Yosemite High School’s 23rd win in 29 years.

Each team was coached by attorneys as well as teachers in preparation for the trial. The Madera team was coached by attorney Noah Marshall and teacher John Martin. Liberty High was coached by attorney Michelle Sassano and teachers Kevin Peterson and Rick Tarango.

Judge Dale Blea, Judge Ernest LiCalsi, Judge Michael Jurkovich, Commissioner Staggs and Judge Charles Wieland presided over the trials. The Mock Trial was held on three separate days and teams participated in six rounds of competition.

Dos Palos High School competed as a visiting team from Merced County.

The Mock Trial and other student academic events are supported by Madera County Office of Education and Madera County Schools Foundation through community and business donations and volunteers. Madera County Superior Court co-sponsored the Mock Trial.

California Rights Foundation provided the trial cases.

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