Mock trial team claims 1st in LA County, to argue trial at spring state competition

The Mock Trial team heads to the state championships in March after beating North Hollywood High School in the Los Angeles County championships Nov. 30.

The county mock trial competition, part of a broader nationwide competition, is funded and run by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. In Los Angeles alone, more than 70 schools compete.
This year’s fictitious case is about a high school student, Casey Campbell, accused of placing a bomb in a school trash can. Witnesses attempt to prove that Campbell had the intent of killing the students who spent time around the trash can.

Both the prosecution and defense team must call four witnesses each and are obligated to give an opening and closing statement.

Before the case fully begins, a lawyer from the defense side gives a pretrial motion, challenging a part of the legislature involved with the case, which is rebutted by the prosecution’s pretrial attorney.
In the finals, the Harvard-Westlake defense team went up against North Hollywood’s prosecution team, attempting to prove the defendant’s innocence.

Last year, the North Hollywood team beat the Wolverines in the quarterfinals and went on to win second place in the county.

This year Harvard-Westlake beat a series of six teams to fight against their opponents at the downtown courthouse.

Coached by science teacher and former prosecuting attorney David Hinden and lawyer Mark Inaba, the Wolverines beat the 1993 California champions, Louisville High School, in the quarterfinals.
At the award ceremony, special awards were announced for outstanding pretrial, attorneys, witnesses and journalists.

Max Rifkind-Barron ’07 won the Alan I. Rothenberg Award for most outstanding pretrial motion in the county.

The next step for the Mock Trial team will be state championships. The Wolverines will travel to Oakland County in Northern California, to compete against the champions from the rest of California’s counties March 23 – 25.

“I’m proud of the hard work this team has done, and no matter what happens, I will be proud of you,” Hinden said prior to the award announcement.