2014 Texas High School Mock Trial Competition

Dallas, Texas
Monday, December 16, 2013


FAQ


When you don't know where else to look... 

1.  The State Competition dates are for those who advance in their Regionals (each March).

2.  The registration fee covers the competing team's entry into the competition as well as the case materials needed to compete (i.e. case study, rules, etc.)

3.  The Case Materials will be made available on our website each October, exact date tbd.  We post the case materials on our website for download instead of emailing or mailing you a copy.  This is a lot less strain on everyone's computers systems, provides immediate access and saves paper. 

4.  7-10 team members allowed in the Texas competition - refer to the rules listed on the case materials page.

5.  Deadline to register a team:  December 15 of the current school year; any last minute teams will be required to pay an additional late-registration fee 

6.   State Office Fax # (should you need):  214-220-7465.

7.  When you have questions about the case, check the Case Materials tab first under the "Case Clarifications" document when posted as we may have already answered it.  Otherwise, please email your question to the State Coordinator.

8.  I'm NEW to this - what do I do?  (Thanks to Regional Coordinator (2), Tim Dowling for the following summary of information - see below):

  • What is the date of the competition, and where will it be held?
    • The competition will be held in your region sometime between Jan. 15-Feb. 15 of the current school year.  Please see the Calendar/Region tab on this website for any updates as they become available.  If the date is not listed and you would like to contact your Regional Coordinator to find out the exact date--or any additional information pertaining to the ‘regional’ level tournament--please see their contact information on this webpage as well.
  • How many students need to be on the team?
    • Ideally ten—three attorneys, six witnesses, and a timekeeper.  You can have as few as six—three attorneys, and the three witnesses play two roles instead of one, and then, you would utilize your opponent’s timekeeper.  We recommend a minimum of 7 on the team (includes timekeeper)
  • How does the competition work?
    • Students are given the rules of the competition, and a set of facts in the form of six witness statements. These statements (which always have humorous edge to them) leave room for ambiguity so that the two sides of a case are closely balanced.  From these materials the students conduct a trial before a judge that lasts slightly less than two hours. The trial has all usual components: opening and closing statements, and direct and cross-examination of witnesses.  Each team will compete in at least once on each side (prosecution/plaintiff or defense) during the tournament.
  • So this competition is mainly for students who are interested in becoming lawyers?
    • Absolutely not!  This competition is excellent for any student who wishes to improve his or her ability to analyze facts and present a compelling argument, improve public speaking skills and the ability to think on one's feet, and to improve his or her overall self-confidence. On a typical team only three of the students compete as lawyers. Six of the other students compete as witnesses and in effect play a role--much like a drama production, except that what the student says is unscripted, and that often makes things very interesting, and gives the students more creative running room.  Therefore, this competition is great for students with all types of backgrounds.
  • In addition to an exceptional educational and confidence building experience, what will my students get out of this competition?
    • Teams who progress to the State competition (and also in some regional tournaments) that place within the top four are awarded scholarship monies for higher education.  Also, there are awards given to students that portray the best student attorneys and the best student witnesses (critiqued by the judges).  At the State level, we honor the ‘most professional’ team with the Judy Yarbro Team Professionalism Award (an engraved 3 ft. wooden gavel).  It is a great honor to receive this prestigious award as the winner is determined by all of the teams in attendance at the competition.
  • I don't know anything about how to conduct a trial. Who could help me and my team?
    • It will be helpful to locate an attorney to help ‘coach’ or advise – it is not the same as LA Law & etc.   It is highly probable that we would be able to locate a local attorney for you to assist your team as well (or at least give you a few ideas or where to locate one.)  We provide guidelines for the attorney advisors & teacher-coaches<--Click on each for more information.  Finally, it might be beneficial to order copies of past DVDs or case studies of our other State championship competitions, so you can see how the best teams compete - look under Case Materials tab for more details about these!
  • What happens if my team wins the regional finals?
    • You (or the regional coordinator) will notify the State coordinator asap, and the team would compete at the State Finals in Dallas, TX in March.  The state coordinator will send you a packet of info about hotel accommodations, schedule, etc. 
  • Who judges the students?
    • Practicing local judges and attorneys. There are usually three judges in each round of the competition.  See Case Materials rules for details and judging criteria.
  • What is the deadline to sign up for this competition, and what is the sign-up fee?
    • Registration ends on December 15. The team registration fee is $175; if a team registers after the deadline, there will be a late-registration fee attached.  If your school is unable to pay the fee, you may wish to ask the PTA, your school’s Academic Booster Club, or local lawyers to see if they could sponsor the team.
We hope you can make this wonderful opportunity available to your students this year!
 

Contact Information

  • Kimberlynn Taylor
    State Coordinator 
    214-220-7484 (phone) 
    214-220-7465 (fax)




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