OKLAHOMA MOCK TRIAL PROGRAM SEMIFINAL TEAMS DETERMINED
(Oklahoma City - Feb. 27, 2017) – Eight teams are advancing to the semifinal rounds of the 2017 Oklahoma High School Mock Trial competition. These rounds will take place Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Tulsa at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Wednesday,March 1, in Oklahoma City at the U.S. Western District Federal Courthouse.
Competing in Tulsa will be Owasso High School’s Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg teams, Jenks High School’s The 6th Horn team and Broken Arrow High School.
Competing in Oklahoma City will be Owasso’s Sonia Sotomayor team, Jenks’ The Tremors team, Clinton High School’s Gold team and Bishop Kelley of Tulsa’s Red team.
The winning teams from each site will compete in the final round on March 7 at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Tulsa for the state championship title. The Oklahoma champion will compete in the national competition in Hartford, Connecticut, in May.
The eight teams moving on to the semifinal shave advanced through a field of 34 teams representing 22 schools across the state. Competition began in late January. The teams are coached by both teachers and lawyers.
The competition involves teams of students taking on the roles of attorneys and defendants. The “trials” are heard by a judge and attorneys in a courtroom setting where individual and team performances are evaluated.
In this year’s fictional case, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake destroys the downtown of a small Oklahoma town,dividing citizens as to its cause. Did the catastrophic seismic event occur due to the fracking that brought prosperity to some citizens when an energy company began drilling in the area or was the earthquake that destroyed over 20 buildings without harming any human lives a natural event totally unrelated to the fracking activity? These issues form the basis of a civil suit filed by the citizens of Wheatville against Quadstone Energy, the drilling company conducting fracking activity near the town.
The experience students gain from participating in the Mock Trial Program can be life changing,” OBA Mock Trial Coordinator Judy Spencer said. “They learn public speaking skills, how to analyze complex issues, debate and gain knowledge about our legal system. These skills, together with developing self confidence, can all be used in whatever career path they choose.”
The Mock Trial Program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Nearly 400 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions.
The foundation, through its grants and awards program, allocates funds to nonprofit agencies and programs like mock trial. The mission of the foundation is to ensure justice is possible for all Oklahomans through the promotion of law,education and access to justice. The 17,600-member Oklahoma Bar Association,headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.
Feb. 28 -- U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Oklahoma, 224 S.Boulder Avenue, Tulsa, rounds will be held from 9 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 4 p.m.
March 1 -- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, 200 N.W. 4th Street, Oklahoma City, rounds will be held from 9 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 4 p.m.
March 7 -- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma,333 W. 4th Street, Tulsa, event starts at 5 p.m. in the 4th Floor ceremonial courtroom