Balboa High School Wins San Francisco County Mock Trial Competition

Stealing while on an internship? No, this is not an episode of “I Almost Got Away With It,” this is the 2015 San Francisco County High School Mock Trial Competition.

As one of the Justice & Diversity Center’s (JDC) diversity pipeline programs, the San Francisco County Mock Trial program targets underserved and underrepresented high school students at San Francisco’s public high schools, providing them an opportunity to develop critical life skills.

Mock Trial volunteers, from left, Barristers Club President Valerie Uribe; Damali Taylor, Conchita Lozano-Batista, United States District for the Northern District of California Judge William H. Orrick, Anand R. Upadhye, and Brian Wong.

Mock Trial volunteers, from left, Barristers Club President Valerie Uribe; Damali Taylor, Conchita Lozano-Batista, United States District for the Northern District of California Judge William H. Orrick, Anand R. Upadhye, and Brian Wong.

The program currently includes nine teams from eight different public high schools in San Francisco, plus one after-school program. The program is run entirely on donations and enabled by the passion and commitment of more than 80 volunteer attorney coaches, who range from Assistant U.S. Attorneys to law firm partners to solo and small firm attorneys.

After benefiting from having Kimberly Taylor, corporate counsel at Charles Schwab, serving as Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the last several years, Nadim Hegazi, Deputy District Attorney at Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and Marie Ma, Corporate Counsel and Director, Global Equity Administration at Gap Inc., stepped in as new committee chairs for the 2014-2015 season.

The All-Star Championship Round took place on February 24 at the federal court and was presided over by Judge William H. Orrick.

After a thrilling pre-trial motion, and an energized trial, four preliminary rounds, 85 volunteer attorney scorers, 20 volunteer presiding judges, and an all-star championship round later, the verdict was in: Balboa High School emerged as 2015 champions.

The team and their coaches headed to Los Angeles for the state finals on March 19-22.

Special thanks to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, who helped fund the trip, in addition to the money raised at the 2014 diversity bowling tournament.