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SAN JOSE, CA – The annual Santa Clara County High School Mock Trial tournament wrapped up on Tuesday, February 25, when Homestead and Cupertino High Schools competed for the opportunity to represent the county in the state finals. The two teams argued the fictional criminal case People v. Matsumoto, the trial of Bailey Matsumoto. Matsumoto is the founder of a technology start-up that develops autonomous (self-driving) trucks. Matsumoto is charged with murder, which is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice afterthought. The pretrial issue involved the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
After seven rounds of competition and a final round, which lasted over two hours, Homestead High School emerged victoriously. This is the first time Homestead advanced beyond the quarter-finals.
The Homestead High School team will compete against 36 county winners at the state tournament in the 39th Annual California Mock Trial Finals on March 20-22 in Los Angeles.
This year, the Santa Clara County Mock Trial Tournament featured over 500 students from 22 high schools.
The winning team included: Abby Berwick, Atharv Patil, Brevin Reed, Catherine Zhang, Clarissa Gao, Emily Tumacder, Haritha Muthukumar, Hasith Basnayake, Ji Yong Shim, Katie Rizkalla, Kelsey Shan, Macy Li, Mayuri Hebbar, Priya Hariharan, Roma Bedekar, Sadia Fathima, and Sahil Venkatesan.
The team was coached by Susan Wilson (Teacher Coach), Pedro Naveiras (Santa Clara Law School third year student), Ron Kharmach (former Lowell High Mock Trial champion, college student), and Jaideep Venkatesan (Volunteer Attorney).
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About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.