Welcome to the SBAND High School Mock Trial Competition
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SBAND HSMTC 2019, Bismarck, ND

On March 23, 2019, students from Hettinger High School, Legacy High School, and Surrey High School participated in the State Bar Association of North Dakota’s (SBAND) first High School Mock Trial Competition.  The competition was held in the Burleigh County Courthouse. 

Judge volunteers as Presiding Judges were Judge Doug Bahr (Bismarck) and Judge Daniel El-Dweek [Watford City].  Attorney volunteer scoring judges of the competition were:  Megan Kummer (Wahpeton), Marjorie Kohls (Fort Yates), Jerry Evenson (Bismarck), Christina Wenko (Dickinson), and Carey Goetz (Bismarck).

The competition event was a great leaning experience for students and attorneys/judges who participated to make the 2019 High School Mock Trial Competition a great success. 

 

First Place:             Hettinger Public School 

Teacher:                  Jon Kohler    

Attorney Coach:       Aaron Roseland

 

Second Place:          Legacy High School 

Teacher:                   Brittany Christenson 

Attorney Coaches:    Bobbi Weiler & Bradley Peterson

 

Third Place:              Surrey High School

Teacher:                   Brad Hoffarth 

Attorney Coaches:    Deb Hoffarth & Ryan Sandler

 

Congratulations to the 2019 Champion, Hettinger High School!

Click here to see the highlights from the competition.

 

 The State Bar Association of North Dakota High School Mock Trial Program is an exciting law-related education program that introduces students to the American legal system and provides a challenging opportunity for personal growth and achievement. The program brings together attorneys, judges, students, and teachers from across the State. Students learn the details of the trial process and procedure, improve skills in communication, reasoning, critical thinking, and teamwork.  Students are also given a rare opportunity to work side by side with attorneys and judges.

Mock Trial Season

Registration Deadline with SBAND

 October

Case Released - Online -Tentative

 October

State Tournament  - Bismarck, ND

 March

NHSMTC Case Release - Tentative 

 April 1, 2019
NHSMTC - Athens, GA

 May 15 - 19, 2019

How to Get Started

The State Bar Association of North Dakota High School Mock Trial Competition uses the Rules of Evidence and Rules of Competition established by the National High School Mock Trial Competition. Teams are encouraged to understand these rules prior to the competition.The competition is open to teams of six to ten students from public schools, private schools, and the home school community located in North Dakota.

SBAND Mock Trial Handbook

The SBAND Mock Trial Handbook provides basic information about the competition. It also includes provisions on scouting and scrimmages against other teams prior to the competition itself.  This document should be the starting point before delving into the case materials so that you can properly prepare for the competition.

Rules of Competition

Before breaking down the case materials, it is important to review the NHSMTC rules of competition, which are the same rules of competition used by the SBAND HSMT.  The rules contain everything from team composition, to whether or not voir dire of witnesses is allowed. 

Rules of Evidence

One of the most important things that attorneys can prepare for prior to trial is to familiarize themselves with the NHSMTC Rules of Evidence.  Rules of evidence outline the scope of the trial, as well as what is permissible during direct and cross examination.  It goes into detail about what makes evidence relevant, how to impeach a witness, and how to use an affidavit to “refresh” the memory of a witness.  Also included in this document is a detailed description of what constitutes hearsay.

2019 Mock Trial Full Case

Quite simply, mock trial is what the name implies -- students are going to take a fictional legal case and bring it to trial.  But, mock trial is much more than that.

In mock trial, a team of six to ten students receive a set of case materials, including case statements, special instructions, stipulations of facts, witness statements/affidavits, and jury instructions, and are asked to create two structured presentations -- one that presents the merits of the case in the position of the prosecution or plaintiff and one that presents the merits of the case in the position of the defense.  Once these presentations are created, students compete by presenting one side of the case against another school team that argues the other side of the case, requiring students to respond to the arguments presented by the other side.  These presentations and arguments are structured within the scope of the National High School Mock Trial Rules of Competition and Rules of Evidence and require students to think quickly, critically and creatively to respond to the arguments of their opponents. 

Team Roster
Trial Sequence & Time Limits
Score Sheet & Explanation
Timekeeper Materials

MOCK TRIAL RESOURCES:

Example Trial:The 2017 NHSMTC championship video is linked here if you would like to view an exemplar:
Putting on Mock Trials - American Bar Association Guide

 

You Be The Judge/Attorney Coach

Volunteer judges and attorney coaches are needed for the upcoming competition season. Please email carrie@sband.org if you are interested in being a judge for the state competition or an attorney coach for a school participating in the High School Mock Trial Program.

What is the time commitment?  Volunteers should allow about two hours/trial. Some volunteers judge one trial and some judge multiple trials, depending on their availability and interest. In preparation for judging, volunteers are expected to read through the case materials and be prepared to either preside or score at the trial.

Below are some helpful items for volunteer judges to review in advance of the competition:

2019 Mock Trial Full Case
Mock Trial Rules of Evidence
Mock Trial Competition Rules

Score Sheet (blank) with Explanation for Scoring
Trial Sequence (time limits)

MOCK TRIAL RESOURCES:

MN Mock Trial Judges Resource Page(Judge Training Orientation Videos& more)
Example Trial:The 2017 NHSMTC championship video is linked here if you would like to view an exemplar:
Virgina High School Mock Trial New Coaches Guide

Thank You

The Mock Trial Program would like to thank the judges and attorneys that volunteer for the High School Mock Trial competitions!

Contact

For more information, please contact Tony Weiler, (701) 255-1404 ext. 15.

Tony Weiler
Executive Director
State Bar Association of North Dakota
1661 Capitol Way, 104LL
Bismarck, ND 58501

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