County mock trial teams qualify for state

Skills Center, Camas High students fare well at regional tournament

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Three teams from Clark County high schools are eligible to compete in the state mock trial tournament in Olympia in March after winning in the annual district competition earlier this week.

Teams from Camas High School took first and second place in the regional competition. The Clark County Skills Center’s Red Team placed third.

They will be invited to compete in the state tournament in Olympia March 27-29.

During the regional tournament Wednesday and Thursday at the Clark County Courthouse, six teams from four local high schools presented “Cedar Confidential,” in which they tried an official misconduct and computer trespass case.

This year’s case was inspired by Edward Snowden’s disclosure of National Security Agency materials, said Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis.

The event involved six rounds, with three two-hour trials during each round.

Each student plays a role as an attorney or witness during the rounds. The student attorneys must perform the standard court process: pretrial motions, opening statements, questioning witnesses and closing arguments.

A county judge presides over each trial, while three attorneys play jurors and render a mock verdict.

Attorneys and the judge then give the students feedback on how well they presented their fictitious case, introduced evidence and cited case law.

“I think we have one of the best local tournaments in the state, because our volunteers allow all of the students to have multiple chances to show what they can do,” Lewis said.

The results from the regional competition Wednesday and Thursday at the Clark County Courthouse were as follows:

• Overall: First place, Camas High School Team 2, 6-0 (17 ballots); second place, Camas High School, 4-2 (12 ballots); third place, Clark County Skills Center Red Team, 4-2 (10 ballots).

• Best witness: Anna Roche, Camas High School Team 2.

• Best attorney: Rebecca Duncan, Columbia River High School.