Moore High School Represents Oklahoma at National High School Mock Trial Championship
Moore High School earned the honor of advancing to the 2016 National High School Mock Trial Championship when it defeated Owasso High School, claiming the Oklahoma High School Mock Trial Program Championship. The team travelled to Boise, Idaho, in May for the national competition with 46 teams from the U.S., Guam, South Korea and the Northern Mariana Islands with 400 students participating.
This year was the second year in a row that Moore High School represented the state during the national competition. They competed in four different rounds. The Oklahoma team consisted of nine team members, who were Noah Andies, Michael Day, Alexander Elsea, Dylan Hestand, Daniel Lambert, Juan Martinez, Joshua Sanders, Jada Small and Kendrick Wilson. Moore’s attorney coach is David Smith and its teacher coach is Gavin Hart.
The mock trial program, sponsored by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association is designed to teach students the principles of trial advocacy as they apply skills of debate, speech and critical thinking during a fictitious courtroom proceeding, with students playing the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney and witness.
At nationals, the students tried the fictitious case of Illan Zabala v. Luz Bennett, Individually and d/b/a The Flying B Cattle Ranch, regarding the tension between a local sheepherder and a local cattle rancher. The sheepherder was suspicious that the cattle rancher was behind the fatal infection that was killing his flock. This was a civil case that involved trespass of livestock and liability.
The judges evaluated the students based on their familiarity of the case and the formulation of their arguments. Students received points for each phase of the trial, opening, direct and cross examination, closing argument and how well their witnesses responded.
“Although we did not place, I was thoroughly impressed with this group of young people who worked so hard to prepare for each round,” Mock Trial Coordinator Judy Spencer said. “It is rewarding to see the life skills they gain as part of the experience – self-confidence, speaking ability and teamwork – to name a few. Their character, sportsmanship, dedication and talent were obvious to all. Oklahoma can be proud!"
The OBF bestows annual grants that provide free legal assistance for the poor and elderly, safe haven for the abused, protection and legal assistance for children, public law-related education programs including those for school children and other activities that improve the quality of justice for all Oklahomans. The 17,600-member Oklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.