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Mock Trial

River City finishes as Yolo County runner-up

River City's Mock Trial team lost to DaVinci Charter High School of Davis for the Yolo County Championship on Saturday, Feb. 20. Our prosecution side lost to DaVinci's defense team, 3-0 on ballots and 53% to 47% on points. Cara Mann was voted round MVP for River City, winning on all 3 judges' scores for her pretrial argument.

Overall, the team finished with one defense win over Laguna Creek to 4 losses. One prosecution loss was extremely close - a 2-1 split ballot, separated by only 1 point overall, 451-450.

In addition to Cara's championship round MVP, she won an MVP award in the last preliminary round. Other MVP round winners were Darius Canuela, Madelynn Brenenstall, and Elizabeth Rico. 

Congratulations to all of our team members for competing under extraordinary virtual circumstances. Everyone on the teams should be proud of their improvement and effort. Special thanks to our timer Vasilisa Nikolaeva, our teacher-coach Matt Smith, and attorney-coach Emily Fisher.

This year's case, People v Croddy, is a case of aiding and abetting a first degree burglary and accessory after the fact. You can read the case brief HERE.

Welcome to the Mock Trial team page -- this is a team, not a club! We start up practicing after the midterms in October. Practice rounds are in January. The local tournament is in February; the state tournament is in March. County winners go on to state competition; state winners compete in a national Mock Trial in May. The local competition is sponsored by the Sacramento County Office of Education.

A mock trial is a simulated court trial that features students in the roles of attorneys, witnesses, court clerks, and bailiffs. Mock Trial is a competition with teams of nine to twenty students from approximately 20 area schools that study a hypothetical criminal case (new each year), practice and prepare for their day(s) in court. Teams are scored by real attorneys on how effectively they present their case.

Common questions:

1. If you are an athlete that practices every day, can you join?

Students participating in a winter sport find it almost impossible to a sport and Mock Trial at the same time. You really can’t do two sports in the same season. Fall and spring sport participants should be OK; fall sports will be almost over by the time we really get going, and we’ve been able to work with spring coaches well, especially tennis (yea Dave!) to work around conflicts.

2. Can you join Mock Trial in the second semester, or is it a yearlong commitment?

This is a team, it’s not a club. We have a “season” (October through March) with practices and a competition schedule. Just like students who have “positions” in sports, Mock Trial team members have roles, and we practice with students in those roles and other students rely on them being there at the beginning. Think of it this way… could you just join the basketball team mid-way through the season?

3. Is the Law class and after school Mock Trial team the same thing? What are the differences?

The Law class is an academic class in criminal law with a textbook, quizzes, exams, etc. We happen to use the same Mock Trial case material for the class final exam, but the class and the team are completely separate. Think of the Mock Trial team like a sports team… just because you may take a basketball class in PE doesn’t mean you’re on the school basketball team, and basketball team members don’t have to take a PE class. They are two separate things.

Hunter makes a point
Danny and Madison with medals at the tournament awards
The team at the state finals orientation
A defense conference before trial
The team before winter break
The team after a round in the jury box
  • Mock Trial Team 2021 October - March