What Is Mock Trial?

     The St. Clair County Bar Association High School Mock Trial Competition is organized and conducted by the St. Clair County Bar Association. The Competition is designed to reenact much of what might take place in trial courts.

     High school students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses, and compete against other high school Mock Trial teams in the County Courthouse courtrooms, in front of real judges and lawyers. Students are coached by a partnership of at least one (1) teacher coach and at least one (1) lawyer coach, who volunteer their time and talents to provide students with incredible opportunity to learn invaluable life lessons: how to thoroughly and critically think about all sides of every issue; how to develop, organize and present their theory of the case through team effort; how to speak effectively to persuade others; how to think on their feet in responding to objections or in effectively drawing out inconsistencies in the opposition’s case via cross examination; how to demonstrate civility and respect for their case, for their opposition’s case and for the legal system, as a whole. Students do take on roles, however, there is no set script. As in a debate, the students must adjust to the strategies employed by the opposing side - and they must do so only with the help of their fellow team members as there is no coaching during the competition!

How Does The Competition Work?

  • November 1 each year the case and tournament rules are distributed to all teacher and lawyer coaches via email. In even numbered years, the case will involve criminal charges; in odd numbered years, the case will involve civil claims.
  • Teams of 6 to 10 students present arguments before panels of judges. In each courtroom, there will be at least two (2) scoring judges and one (1) presiding/scoring judge. The two (2) scoring judges sit in the jury box as would a jury; the presiding /scoring judge sits at the judicial bench in the courtroom and rules on evidentiary issues and objections.
  • Each School is guaranteed three (3) rounds in the competition; if in round one a team participated as plaintiff/prosecution, then in round two, that team will defend. The third round is by draw as to which a team will play - prosecution/plaintiff or defense.
  • Rounds are scheduled at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and after lunch, or 1:30 p.m. in courtrooms as previously assigned.
  • The competition is typically conducted the last Saturday in February.
  • There is NO REGISTRATION FEE, nor any charge for participation in the St. Clair County High School Mock Trial competition.
  • Lunch will be provided, compliments of the St. Clair County Bar Association.
  • Snacks between rounds are provided, compliments of the St. Clair County Bar Association.
  • Teams are encouraged to practice in Judge Platzer’s courtroom (Room 2300, Floor 2, Port Huron Courthouse); to schedule a date and time (Saturdays and Sundays are available!), please call (810) 985-2418.
  • Individual and team pictures are required for all teams and team members. No later than January 31 each year, all teams should have scheduled and appeared at Judge Platzer’s Courtroom for pictures.
  • The awards ceremony is conducted after the third (3rd) round of the competition at the St. Clair County Community College Student Center Café.

How Do My Students Benefit?

  • Learn about the legal system
  • Learn critical thinking skills for real life situations
  • Learn to carefully dissect and review all sides of each issue in a case, and, then present and persuade others in representing their position(s)
  • Learn team work
  • Learn to think on their feet
  • Gain valuable public speaking skills
  • Gain communication skills
  • Gain a keen insight into the tools of the trade of the legal profession
  • Learn about the government and how all three (3) branches of our government are at work in any court proceeding
  • Students see their government at work
  • Develop an appreciation and respect for the Constitution and how it affects each and every one of us

History Of St. Clair County Mock Trial

  • St. Clair County Bar Association and 72nd District Court have been hosting this event for over 10 years
  • Over 60 volunteers from the community, court staff, and the local area police departments all work to put on this one day event for the students
  • Over 35 members of the Bar Association have volunteered their time to either coach a team or volunteer as a judge on the day of the tournament
  • We have grown from a few schools to 9 schools in the county participating in the 2017 competition
  • Some schools now treat Mock Trial as a varsity sport where students can receive a letter

How Do We Enter?

Email: contact@sc2mocktrial.org

We will need a current email address and phone number for all teacher coaches and co-coaches and lawyer coaches