Mock Trial Mania
I have recently finished teaching my semester class of Mock Trial at Bend High. It was so refreshing to be around high school students who have a love for the constitution and the law. We have three teams preparing for the high school competition of Mock Trial competition held at the Deschutes County Courthouse on Saturday, February 27, 2016.
The criminal case is State of Oregon verses Bobby Dousa that involves a star basketball player who attended a party where students from two rival high school students mingled and a drink was drugged, causing caused the star basketball player some trouble. The prosecution believes beyond a reasonable doubt that Bobby Dousa not only drugged the drink of another player, but also drew the Raider’s logo on the player’s face with permanent marker and posted the embarrassing picture on Facebook. The Defense team of Bobby Dousa will try to plant reasonable doubt and point out that other students had motive and opportunity as well. In fact, there is an exhibit consisting of the pill bottle that allegedly has Bobby Dousa’s fingerprints on it, but did he actually commit the crime?
My students will be portraying the roles of attorneys as well as witnesses. They will prepare a Prosecution side as well as a Defense. There will be 3 rounds of competition against other high school students from Central Oregon and the top two teams will go on to the final statewide competition held in Portland. The students will prepare opening and closing statements and do direct and cross examination of witnesses. Each student has learned proper court procedure to admit exhibits into evidence. It will be a thrill to see them actually in the courtroom after all their hard preparation!
It has been such a pleasure working with these bright young minds. Their energy reminds me of why I love the law, you really can argue all sides of an issue. These teenagers know how to put on a well thought out argument, and believe me when I say I think they argue better than some attorneys I know!
I participate in this volunteer program because I believe so strongly that kids need to learn about law and critical thinking. There are normally two sides to any issue and of course I find this to be true in my family law work.