Riverside High Schools Triumph in “Court”

Competing against 26 high schools across the county, Riverside’s King High School found themselves facing off against Poly High for first place in the 30th annual Riverside County Mock Trial competition on Saturday, March 2.

Ultimately Riverside’s Poly defeated King High School in the final round on a traffic hit-and-run case held at the Riverside Historic Courthouse. Poly now advances to the California State Mock Trial Competition, to be held in Riverside on March 22 through 24.

According to the Press-Enterprise, this year’s case, People v. Vega, involved a non-fatal traffic accident, in which the defendant, portrayed by the Riverside Poly team is charged with a felony hit-and-run stemming from an accident.

PolyHSMockTrial

Photo by Dave Baumann, PE

“In the prosecution, portrayed by King, the victim, a bicyclist, was hit by a motorist and injured. The defendant argued that she was not the driver of the vehicle and that instead, her friend, who has the habit of running stop lights, was driving.

The case worked with the reliability of witnesses and whether the defendant was properly given her Miranda rights.

At the end of the trial, Federal District Judge Virginia Philips ruled in favor of the defendant.

‘Great job,’ she said. ‘I’m just so impressed with everyone — the witnesses, my wonderful clerk, the bailiff. Well done; terrific job.’

Later at the awards ceremony, the high schools were presented with medals and plaques. Poly’s win brought the team to its feet amid cheers from the family members and supporters in the courtroom audience. The team also received a $1,000 check from the Riverside County Bar Association.”

The accomplishment of two Riverside high schools to achieve this level in an academic competition demonstrates both student and faculty commitment to providing innovative learning experiences to our students.

To read more on the competition, view the full Press-Enterprise article here.

Riverside Poly High School Wins County Mock Trial Finals

Riverside Poly High School’s mock trial team won the county-level competition on Saturday March 3, the school’s 13th championship since the event began in 1983. Poly will move on to represent the county March 23-25 at the California State Mock Trial Competition in Sacramento.

Murrieta Valley’s Team A placed second. Murrieta Valley and Poly defeated teams from Riverside’s King High School team and Palm Desert’s Xavier College Preparatory School in the semi-final rounds Saturday morning. King and Xavier teams both got third-place medals.

“The cases get better and better every year,” said Associate Justice Thomas Hollenhorst, of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, who sat on the bench for the student event. “In my view, it was a very closely contested trial.”

In mock trial, students portray attorneys and witnesses and argue cases in front of real judges. Students are scored by real attorneys.

More than 500 students on 30 teams throughout Riverside County competed this year. Students after the final round said they spent many hours after school every day for months to prepare. They didn’t just memorize their parts but also learned about applicable case laws and the U.S. Constitution.

The Riverside County Office of Education, Riverside County Bar Association and Riverside Superior Court sponsor the competition.

Mock Trial provides students with an understanding of the law and allows them to practice critical thinking and oral communication skills that will be incredibly beneficial in their education and eventually their career. Extracurricular activities like Mock Trial, Science Olympiad and others test students through practical applications that enhance academic achievement

Reproduced courtesy of the Press Enterprise, click here to view the full article.