Restaurant owner Cameron Awbrey will be on trial for human trafficking and false imprisonment of Lin Stark during this year’s Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial on Dec. 6, 8, and 10.
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. Awbrey.
Mock Trial students will also be discussing the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, protection against illegal search and seizure and against self-incrimination during the pre-trial argument.
High school students from Liberty High, Madera High, Madera South High and Yosemite High Schools will be competing.
The YHS team is made up of Marianna Adelizi, Kourtney Allen, Hope Byars, Jerome Garcellano, Natalie Guynn, Harold Hammond, Haley Hammond, Noah Jennings, Elise Keeler, Isabel McGoldrick, Sophia McGoldrick, Laura Pearson, Amber Persson, Isabella Peter, Gabriela Rivas, Jennifer Springer, Rylie Sullivan, Jasmine Tanoury, Madison Washburn, and Alexander Williams. The courtroom artist is Jericho Garcellano, coaches are Eric McLane and Deborah Brown, and attorney coach is Bernie McGoldrick.
“For 33 years students have had the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile competition,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “Along with learning about our legal system, this program connects attorneys with our students as community role models and teaches important skills such as public speaking.”
Madera County Office of Education 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 Dec. 6 at the Sierra Courthouse in Bass Lake. Judge Charles A. Wieland will preside beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Judge Dale Blea and Judge Ernest LiCalsi will preside over the trials on Thursday, December 8 at the Madera Courthouse beginning at 1:30 p.m.
The last trial will take place on Dec. 10 at the Madera Courthouse. Judge Ernest LiCalsi and Judge Michael Jurkovich will preside over the trials beginning at 8:30 a.m. For the first time, a championship round will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The top two highest scoring teams will compete to win the competition and advance to the state finals in Riverside.
The Mock Trial awards ceremony will be held 2:30 p.m., Dec. 10, at Madera County Office of Education. 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.
Each school will provide a prosecution and defense team. 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. 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, Lesya Dull, William Fjellbo, Angela Hill, Jim Lee, David Linn, Bryan Martin, Devon McTeer and Steven Mortimer.
The winner of the competition will advance to the state competition March 24-26, 2017 in Riverside.
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.
California Rights Foundation provided the trial cases.
Details: Kristi Winter, events developer, Madera County Office of Education at (559) 662-3873.