High School Mock Trial Semifinal Winners Announced
February 24, 2020
Mock trial teams from Ada, Broken Arrow, Clinton and Stillwater high schools with two teams from McAlester and Owasso are advancing to the semifinal rounds of the 2020 Oklahoma High School Mock Trial competition. Rounds are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 25, in Tulsa at the Page Belcher Federal Building and Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Oklahoma City at the U.S. Western District Federal Courthouse.
Competing in Tulsa will be Broken Arrow Team Black, Clinton Team Gold, McAlester Team Gold and Owasso RDEX Team. Competing in Oklahoma City will be Ada Varsity Team, McAlester Team Black, Owasso Rutherford Team and Stillwater Killer Bees Team.
The winning teams from each site will compete in the final round on March 3 at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman for the state championship title. The Oklahoma champion will compete in the national competition in Evansville, Indiana, in May.
The competition involves teams of students taking on the roles of attorneys and defendants. The “trials” are heard by a judge and attorneys in a courtroom setting where individual and team performances are evaluated.
This year’s case is a criminal prosecution brought by the state of Oklahoma against defendant Kristen Taylor, who is charged with negligent homicide arising out of the death of her unborn son following a motor vehicle accident. The case centers around two main issues – first, whether Taylor was intoxicated and at fault for the collision or whether the collision was caused by a defect in the vehicle she was driving. Second, whether the cause of death for Baby Doe was the accident or a pre-existing birth defect.
“The competition gives students a unique opportunity to develop public speaking and critical thinking skills while encouraging interest and an appreciation of our judicial system,” OBA Mock Trial Coordinator Judy Spencer said. “These skills, together with developing self-confidence, team building and leadership, will benefit them in whatever career path they choose.”
The Mock Trial Program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Over 400 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions.
The Oklahoma Bar Foundation, through its grants and awards program, allocates funds to nonprofit agencies and programs like mock trial. The mission of the foundation is to ensure justice is possible for all Oklahomans through the promotion of law, education and access to justice. The 18,000-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.
Feb. 25 – Page Belcher Federal Building, 333 W. 4th Street, Tulsa, rounds will be held from 9 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 4 p.m.
Feb. 26 – U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, 200 N.W. 4th Street, Oklahoma City, rounds will be held from 9 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 4 p.m.
March 3 –University of Oklahoma College of Law, Bell Courtroom, Norman, event starts at 5 p.m.