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SAN JOSE, CA – On February 15, 2022, Prospect High School’s defense team defeated Lynbrook High School’s prosecution team in the championship competition of the Santa Clara County High School Mock Trial Tournament by the score of 1309 to 1291. The winning team will advance to the state championship in March.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education in partnership with the Santa Clara County Bar Association and the Santa Clara County Superior Court, sponsors the Santa Clara County High School Mock Trial Tournament, giving students an authentic trial experience. Each year, high school teams study a hypothetical case that is provided by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. A team made up of 18 students prepare to either defend or prosecute the case and fulfill the roles of pretrial attorneys, prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses, and court staff.
“Thank you to the Santa Clara County Bar Association, County Superior Court, attorney coaches, and staff for their hard work in coordinating this meaningful event for students,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools, “I would also like to congratulate Prospect High School on their win. The skills students develop during this tournament will serve them in their future careers and academics.”
The seven-round, four-week virtual tournament involved twenty public and private high schools and was conducted entirely online. The tournament was presided over by sitting superior court judges and was scored by hundreds of local attorneys.
In this year’s hypothetical case, the teams litigated the trial of Jamie Cobey, a horticulturist living in the community of Burnsley, California, a semi-rural town in the high desert. Cobey is charged with the homicide of Cobey’s landlord and next-door neighbor, Erik Smith. The prosecution argued that Cobey should be convicted of first-degree murder or the lesser-included offense of voluntary manslaughter. The pretrial issue centered on the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
“Mock Trial is a true team sport. Every student gets the opportunity to contribute, and throughout the season they keep lifting each other higher and higher. We could not be prouder of our students and their resilience during this difficult school year,” said Prospect High School Teacher Coaches Stephen Smith and Marisa Cantone.
To reach the championship round, Prospect High School’s team went 7-0 in the county tournament. The team will now advance to the state championship, hosted by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, on March 17-20, 2022.
For more information about the Mock Trial Competition and participating schools, visit https://tinyurl.com/SCCHSMockTrial.
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.
For more information about the Santa Clara County Office of Education, please visit www.sccoe.org and follow us @SCCOE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.