2015 Theme: People v Shem: An Art Theft
The Mock Trial is designed to clarify the workings of our legal institutions for students through first-hand experience.
Students in grades 9 to 12 portray each of the principals in the cast of courtroom characters. Student teams study a hypothetical case, conduct legal research, receive guidance from volunteer attorneys in courtroom procedure and trial preparation, and present their case before volunteer judges.
Each county office sponsors a local Mock Trial competition and declares a winning team from our high schools to compete in the State Finals in Sacramento. This is a unique opportunity for high school students to demonstrate their academic achievements in a challenging experience with the key concepts of law and courtroom drama.
The Mock Trial brings together students, teachers, and legal professionals from around the county to:
Instill in our youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights
Educate young people to become active and responsible participants in our society
Help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system
Develop analytical abilities and communication skills
Provide an understanding of the obligations and responsibilities required of our societies members
Extend and reinforce the History and Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools
Each year approximately 500 Ventura County students, in grades 9-12, actively experience the excitement of working in teams, exchanging ideas, setting goals, and examining issues while interacting with positive role models from their communities.
The winning county team is then invited to the State Mock Trial to compete with their peers from across California where many of our past teams have then gone on to compete in the National Mock Trial.
Approximately 200 attorneys from throughout Ventura County volunteer their time to serve as judges for the Mock Trial.
Since 1984 the Ventura County Office of Education has partnered with the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) to provide the Mock Trial for our students. The goal of the Constitutional Rights Foundation is to "instill in our nation's youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights and to educate young people to become active and responsible participants in our society.”