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Dos Pueblos Team Makes Its Case, Wins Santa Barbara County Mock Trial Competition

Dos Pueblos High School mock trial team Click to view larger
The Dos Pueblos High School mock trial team. (Luis Medina / Santa Barbara County Education Office photo)

The annual Santa Barbara County Mock Trial competition concluded Saturday at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

After a very close contest, Dos Pueblos High School edged out the San Marcos team to emerge the winners. Dos Pueblos will represent Santa Barbara County at the state competition in Sacramento on March 22-24.

The competition, which is in its 36th year, is sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Education Office with the support of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. It takes place over two successive weekends at the county courthouse, with nearly 60 local attorneys, paralegals and law students serving as volunteer scorers.

Six teams from five public and private Santa Barbara County high schools competed over the course of the trials, acting as both prosecution and defense on a case developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Participating schools were Carpinteria, Dos Pueblos, Laguna Blanca, San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools.

“Our county has the best program in the state,” said Judge Brian Hill, who presided over one of the final round trials.

Hill, along with SBCEO Assistant Superintendent Ellen Barger, presented the trophy to the winning team.

“The intense preparation, critical analysis and reasoned arguments demonstrated by our students is inspiring,” Barger said. “Listening to their carefully crafted statements, testimony, cross-examinations, and motions citing case law, it’s easy to forget that we are watching high school students and not experienced attorneys.”

“The skill, passion and poise each of the student competitors displayed is remarkable,” county Superintendent Susan Salcido said. “We are grateful for their efforts, for the efforts of their parents and coaches, and for the support of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, whose assistance is instrumental in helping this competition thrive.”

The Santa Barbara County Bar Association donated a check for the winning team to travel to the state competition. The law firm Rogers, Sheffield and Campbell LLP donated medals that were awarded at the end of the first round of competition to 28 students for their exceptional performance.

Special thanks go to those who presided over the four rounds of competition: Steve Amerikaner, Judge Thomas Anderle, Judge Michael Carrozzo, Judge Von Deroian, Judge George Eskin (retired), Judge Donna Geck, Judge Brian Hill, Judge Kay Kuns, Judge Pauline Maxwell, Judge (ALJ) Scott Seiden and John Thyne III.

— Tracey Beauchamp represents the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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