The fictitious Casey Davidson will be on trial for the murder of Alex Thompson, a member of the fictional extremist group, Ultra Nats, during this year’s Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial on Dec. 5, 6, 9. Thompson was murdered after a political rally.
The Mock Trial is a simulation of a court case with high school students acting as attorneys, witnesses, clerks and bailiffs. This year students will try the fictional case People vs. Davidson.
Mock Trial students will also be discussing the Fourth Amendment, protection against illegal search and seizure during the pre-trial argument.
High school students from Yosemite High School, Liberty High, Madera High and Madera South High will be competing.
Yosemite Mock Trial team members, coached by Andrew Curtain,include Sophia McGoldrick, Jerome Garcellano, Mia Adeligi, Amber Perssen, Maddie Washburn, Jasmine Tanoury, Abby Williams, Maya Magddteno, Izzy Peter, Leslie Rameriez, Linea Leinau, Noah Jennings, Macey Bazzar, William Bates and Natalie Guynn.
“These students have been working very hard and they are ready to go to trail tomorrow,” said Curtain.
Yosemite has a young team with just one senior.
Oakhurst attorney Bernie McGoldrick has been helping coach the team, with assistance from former YHS teacher and Mock Trial Team Coach Deborah Brown.
“This event has a longstanding tradition of teaching important skills such as public speaking and providing insight to our legal system,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “For 34 years the Mock Trial has connected attorneys with our students as community role models.”
Madera County Superintendent of Schools and Madera County Schools Foundation will hold this fictional court case at the Bass Lake and Madera Courthouses. Madera County Superior Court is co-sponsoring the competition.
The Honorable Edward P. Moffat Mock Trial begins on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Madera Courthouse. Judge Dale Blea and Judge Ernest LiCalsi will preside over the trials
On Wednesday, Dec. 6 the trial will be held at the Sierra Courthouse in Bass Lake and Judge Charles A. Wieland will preside. Both weekday trials begin at 1:30 p.m.
The last trial will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Madera Courthouse. Judge Ernest LiCalsi and Judge Michael Jurkovich will preside over the trials beginning at 8:30 a.m.
A championship round will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The top two highest scoring teams will compete in a winner-take-all competition to advance to the state finals in Orange County.
The Mock Trial awards ceremony will be held on Dec. 9 at 2:30 p.m. at the office of Madera County Superintendent of Schools. The winning team will be announced and nominated students will receive honorable mention and outstanding student certificates. All students will receive a certificate of participation and pin.
Rounds consist of one school’s defense team going up against another school’s prosecution team.
The Mock Trial is designed to help students understand the workings of legal institutions, and each school will provide a prosecution and defense team. The teams are coached by volunteer attorneys in courtroom procedures and trial preparations.
“This program is a true example of performance based assessment. The students are immediately evaluated as they would be in the ‘real world’ as acting attorneys with their motions being upheld or denied. At the end of the trial a winner is declared,” said Massetti.
Attorneys from throughout the Valley will volunteer as scoring attorneys at the trial. Volunteers include: Nanette Beaumont, Lee Burdick, Cavan Cox, William Fjellbo, Jim Lee, Devon McTeer, Steven Mortimer, and Kevin Schwin.
The winner of the competition will advance to the state competition March 16-18, in Orange County.
In 2010 the Mock Trial was renamed to the Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial in honor of the late Judge Moffat who was a longtime supporter of the program.
Details: Madera County Superintendent of Schools Students Events Coordinator, Kristi Winter, (559) 662-3873.
Kristi Winter - Madera County Office of Education