SANTA BARBARA — The San Marcos High School team won the Santa Barbara County mock trial competition Saturday, sending it to the virtual state competition March 18-21.
The competition, now in its 38th year, was held via Zoom over two successive weekends.
The Santa Barbara County Education Office sponsors the event, and nearly 60 local attorneys, the district attorney’s office and the public defender’s office volunteer to score the competition.
“This year presented special challenges, as trials were conducted by Zoom, which required extraordinary effort by all involved. The Santa Barbara Superior Court applauds these efforts and is committed to supporting this important educational activity,” Judge Brian Hill said in a news release.
Six teams from Carpinteria, Dos Pueblos, Laguna Blanca, San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools acted as both prosecution and defense in a case created by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.
“Each student demonstrated significant preparation through their delivery of compelling arguments and presentations during the competition. Thank you to all student participants and community volunteers who contributed to this meaningful hands-on opportunity for students to gain real-life virtual courtroom experience,” said Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools.
Luke Ohrn, Hilary Dozer and Jim Kreyger coach the San Marcos Team.
“The intense preparation, critical analysis, and reasoned arguments demonstrated by our students is inspiring. It’s easy to forget that we are watching high school students and not experienced attorneys when listening to their carefully crafted testimony, cross-examinations, and motions citing case law,” Ellen Barger, county assistant superintendent, said.
— Annelise Hanshaw