Menlo School’s mock trial team placed fifth Sunday at a statewide mock trial competition in Sacramento, after winning the title of best team in San Mateo County.
“The 2012 Mock Trial season has been exciting for Menlo School,” said Jill Kasser, Menlo School Spokesperson.
“In the build up to this year’s state championship, Menlo School won an invitational tournament in Denver, Colorado late last year and proceeded undefeated in 10 matches before unanimously being voted San Mateo County’s best team this year,” Kasser said.
This is the fourth year the team has won the county title.
The Constitutional Rights Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to teach students about participation in a democratic society, hosted the state event, working with high schools in 36 California counties, according to the CRF’s website. About 8,000 students participate in the event each year in various ways.
Each school’s team has eighteen roles, placing nine students on defense and nine on prosecution.
The goal is to duplicate the professional environment found in courtrooms and enable students to use facts from a fictional crime to argue a case. Students are scored on how well they are able to present their case, their familiarity with the law, and how well they display knowledge of courtroom techniques.
Practicing attorneys score the event that unfurls in front of sitting judges. This year’s case revolved around a fictitious murder at a music festival in California.
To prepare for the trials, Menlo School government teacher Dan Devitt coached the team, as did Coach Craig Heimark.
Individual students were publicly lauded for their contributions to the team.
Notably, Sophomore Kate Park was awarded the title of Best Pro Witness and Junior Helena Abbot won Best Clerk.