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Contra Costa mock trial finals are tonight!

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 3:42 pm in Education.

The final four Contra Costa County Mock Trial high school teams will face off tonight in a championship and consolation round that will end up determining the winners of this year’s hotly contested competition.

You can watch the action from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse at 725 Court Street in Martinez. Please be aware, however, that space is limited.

Teams from Northgate High School in Walnut Creek and California High School from San Ramon are vying for the championship, while students from Alhambra High School in Martinez and Miramonte High in Orinda will face off in the consolation round. Last year, Miramonte took the championship.

The Northgate team is coached by District Attorney Mark Peterson, said Jonathan Lance, communications specialist for the County Office of Education. Peterson has told me his daughter attends Northgate High School.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday in the County Office of Education’b board room at 77 Santa Barbara Road in Pleasant Hill.

Here are some more details about the competition from a County Office of Education news release:

“For (what will be) the past seven straight Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the Northgate High and California High Mock Trial teams will have battled it out with 11 other school teams inside the superior courthouses in Martinez, in the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s 30th Annual High School Mock Trial Competition.

This Thursday night (tonight), one of these two teams will be awarded the county’s Mock Trial Championship Team Trophy. The championship team will represent Contra Costa County at the California Mock Trial State Finals, to be held in Riverside, Calif., March 25-27.  (This year, the National Mock Trial Competition will take place in Phoenix, Ariz., May 5-7.)

The final-two matches, Northgate High vs. California High (Championship Round) and Alhambra High vs. Miramonte High (Consolation Round), will be held tonight. 

More than 150 Mock Trial students, along with their coaches and parents, will be on hand to receive individual and team awards — concluding with the naming of this year’s Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial Championship Team (on Thursday). Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Diana Becton will be presenting the awards to the students.

Mock Trial is an academic event for high school students coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. The purpose of this program is to teach students about the law and the workings of the legal system. 

To prepare, the students conducted legal research and received guidance on courtroom procedures from their school teachers and volunteer attorneys and judges, to acquire a working knowledge of the judicial system. This year, 100 Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys, senior law students, and sworn judges volunteered their time to serve as Mock Trial Attorney Scorers and Judges.

Teams from the following 13 high schools competed in this year’s program:
Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), Antioch (Antioch), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Clayton Valley(Concord), Deer Valley Law Academy (Antioch), Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), Hercules Middle/High (Hercules), Heritage (Brentwood), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Miramonte (Orinda), and Northgate (Walnut Creek).”


More information about the competition is available by calling Karen Rice, event manager, at 925-942-3400, or visiting

Who are you rooting for?

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