More than two dozen local high schools will field 32 teams in the Ventura County Mock Trial competition, which begins Monday in Ventura. Students will take on the major roles of a criminal court case, including attorneys, witnesses and even bailiffs. The students will present their cases before actual local judges who volunteer for the competition. Local attorneys serve as coaches.
WHAT: 2106 Ventura County Mock Trial
WHEN: The competition runs Monday, February 22 to Thursday, February 25. The Wednesday semi-finals and Thursday finals are open to the public. Competition begins each evening at 5:00 pm and is expected to conclude by 11:00 pm
- Monday, February 22 – Rounds 1 and 2 (closed to public)
- Tuesday, February 23 – Rounds 3 and 4 (closed to public)
- Wednesday, February 24 – Semi-finals (open to public)
- Thursday, February 25 – Finals (open to public)
WHERE: Ventura County Superior Court - 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, California 93009
The Mock Trial awards ceremony will be held on Monday, February 29 at 6:00 pm at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center at 800 Hobson Way. The public is invited to attend.
About the 2016 Ventura County Mock Trial
The competition is coordinated annually by the Ventura County Office of Education. This year’s fictitious case, People v. Hayes, is the trial of Jamie Hayes, a student at Central Coast University (CCU) on a track and field scholarship. Hayes faces a felony charge of murder for the homicide of Lee Valdez, a campus security guard. Hayes is arguing the homicide was justifiable because it was in defense of another. The People v. Hayes pretrial issue involves the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and concerns a statement made by Hayes during interrogation that Valdez “got what he deserved.”
High schools participating this year are: Adolfo Camarillo, Agoura, Buena, Channel Islands, Fillmore, Grace Brethren, Hueneme, La Reina, Newbury Park, Nordhoff, Oak Park, Oaks Christian, Oxnard, Pacifica, Rio Mesa, Saint Bonaventure, Santa Paula, Santa Susana, Simi Valley, St. Augustine Academy, Thousand Oaks, Trinity Pacific Christian School, Ventura, Villanova Preparatory School and Westlake.
The winner of the county competition will go on to the state mock trial contest March 18-20 in Sacramento. Ventura County has taken first place at the state level in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013.