Feb 20, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Thirty-seven students will represent Glenwood Springs High School at the regional mock trial competition in Grand Junction today and Saturday.
“We’ve had about this many students once before, but we’ve never tried to fill more than three teams,” longtime mock trial coach and semi-retired judge Vic Zerbi said. “Going to four teams was not easy, but it’s something we really wanted to do.”
The students range in age from freshmen to seniors. The regional competition takes place at the Mesa County Courthouse. Two teams will advance to the state meet, to be held March 13-14 in Denver.
Each year, the Colorado Bar Association comes up with a case for the mock trial participants to argue, Zerbi explained. Teams of no more than 12 are divided up between the prosecution and the defense, with three attorneys and three witnesses each.
The students don’t find out until five minutes before trial begins which side they will be on. Smaller teams, such as Glenwood’s, can also have participants arguing on both sides of the case.
Each side has 25 minutes to put their three witnesses on the stand for questioning, followed by a five-minute closing argument.
Scoring is based on each aspect of the presentation, and the performance of witnesses who are bound by an affidavit provided to them with the details of the mock case.