On December 3, teams from four schools argued their final cases in a virtual setting – the first time in Mock Trial history – at the 43rd Annual Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition Finals sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF). Chaminade’s Middle School Mock Trial Team, coached by Jill Teehan and assisted by Chaminade high school seniors Sophia Conzona ’21, Katherine Schultz ’21, and Brendan Teehan ’21, took second place in the Junior Division, for the second time in three years.
Despite the pandemic and the first-time virtual model, 110 teams participated – over 1,800 students – and spent countless hours researching, rehearsing, and preparing arguments to present their case.
Chaminade’s Aiden Friedman was named Outstanding Prosecution Attorney, Junior Division, Ellya Kim took second place as the Courtroom artist, Senior Division, and Addison Park was named Outstanding Bailiff, Senior Division.
Each year, a new hypothetical criminal case is introduced based on an important legal issue. This year’s case, People v. Croddy, is the trial of Lee Croddy, who hosts a popular YouTube channel called The Right Choice of News (RCN). In the simulation trial, students portray each of the principals in the cast of courtroom characters. Student teams study a hypothetical criminal case, conduct legal research, and receive guidance from volunteer attorneys in courtroom procedures and trial preparations.
The program helps students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and understand their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society. This educational experience would not be possible without the support and dedication of the over 300 volunteers from the bar and bench who participate in the program as presiders and scorers.
During the awards ceremony, Retired Superior Court Judge Ron Rose commented, “In a difficult time for all of us, every coach, every teacher, every student, their parents, and their families are true winners, and you have brought light into a dark time for all of us. In addition to that, you have proven that our future is in good hands.”
Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) was established in 1962 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. CRF’s innovative educational programs transform youth lives by providing them with the skills to become informed, engaged participants in society and democracy. For more information, please visit www.crf-usa.org.