Mock Trial Season Comes to an End

Lisa Hathaway. Jones Day

After nine months of exciting competitions and grueling practice sessions, the Lowell Mock Trial Team’s 2015-2016 thrilling season has come to an end with a strong showing at the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s annual state competition in Sacramento.

Mock trial is a rigorous academic activity that coalesces elements of legal advocacy, debate, and drama in a simulated trial experience. By requiring students to understand complex legal rules and engage in real-time objection battles, mock trial develops students’ ability to think critically and on their feet.

Lowell students eagerly dove into the season last summer, when they dedicated themselves to mastering a college-level case, Max Jeffries v. Polk City Police Department, for the elite Empire Tournament. The Lowell squad stood out amongst nearly two dozen teams from across the country (and the world), and emerged as champions of the competition.

In December, the team switched gears and started preparing the state-wide criminal murder case, the People v. Jamie Hayes. After four preliminary rounds and a very close championship round tried before Federal District Court Judge William H. Orrick, the Lowell team claimed the San Francisco county title and qualified for the annual state championship.

While representing the county in Sacramento, the Lowell students once again displayed persuasive advocacy skills and delivered compelling witness performances. The three-day tournament not only reinforced the unwavering bond and connection these students have with one another, but it also provided them with the opportunity to develop friendships with fellow mock-trialers from all corners of the state.

The Lowell Mock Trial team is immensely grateful for the support and financial assistance provided by both The Bar Association of San Francisco and the Lowell Alumni Association. This team would be inoperable without their support.

Visit www.sfbar.org/mock-trial for more information.
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Lowell High School Mock Trial Team with coach Lisa Hathaway (top left of back row) and coach Michael Ungar (far left)

Lowell High School Mock Trial Team with coach Lisa Hathaway (top left of back row) and coach Michael Ungar (far left)

School of the Arts also competed in the state competition

School of the Arts also competed in the state competition

San Francisco’s School of the Arts (pictured above), who placed second to Lowell in the county tournament, was also asked to compete in the state competition.

Their head coach, Clifford Yin of Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass, had this to say about their experience, “The mock trial program is a wonderful way to mentor high school students interested in the law while also honing your trial skills. San Francisco was so fortunate to have two teams represent the county at the state competition, and I am so proud that both teams performed exceptionally well at the county and state competitions, including winning awards at the state competition. My students from SOTA (School of the Arts) really had the time of their lives.”