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SAN JOSE, CA – The annual Santa Clara County High School Mock Trial tournament commenced Tuesday, February 16th when Willow Glen High School’s defense team won against Cupertino High School’s prosecution team in the championship round. Willow Glen’s pretrial attorney, Maya Carpenter, and Sanvi Manik, who portrayed the defendant, were named Willow Glen’s MVPs of the final round and received the Johnny Gogo Mock Trial Award. Coached by local attorneys Jim Scharf and Doug Johns, Willow Glen advanced to the state championship which ended on March 21, 2021.
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.
“We are incredibly proud of our students, partners and coaches who put in a tremendous amount of work to prepare and participate in the Mock Trial tournament each year. I’m confident that the skills these students learn and hone for the tournament, will serve them and our community in the future,” said Santa Clara County Superintendent Dr. Mary Ann Dewan. “Thank you to the Santa Clara County Bar Association, County Superior Court, attorney coaches and staff for coordinating a meaningful event for our students, and congratulations to the Willow Glen High School team on their championship.”
This year, 20 teams consisting of 396 students from across the county argued the case of The People vs. Croddy. 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, a YouTube political journalist allegedly used her on-line words to incite a fan to break into a government agent’s home to steal confidential documents about the existence of UFOs.
To reach the championship round, Willow Glen defeated six-time county champion Lynbrook in quarter finals and five-time county champion Prospect in semi-finals. The high school also won the tournament in 2013 and 2014 and this is their sixth appearance in the championship round since 2010.
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.