The 24th Annual National High School Mock Trial Competition will bring 40 high school teams to Dallas from across the U.S. (plus South Korea and the Northern Mariana Islands) on May 10- 12, as they argue a hypothetical court case.
These teams, which have emerged as the best within their states, will be matched against one another in actual courtrooms, culminating in a championship round on Saturday evening at the newly restored Hatton Sumners Courtroom in the historic Old Red Courthouse.
Approximately 1,000 students, parents, teachers and attorneys are expected to participate. Richardson High School prevailed in the statewide competition in March, and will represent Texas in the national competition.
More than 400 judges and attorneys will serve as “jurors,” and select the teams that are best prepared and who demonstrate exceptional presentation skills.
Outfitted in business suits and briefcases, students will portray plaintiff and defense attorneys as they argue a negligence case brought in “federal” court. They will cross-examine “witnesses,” they will object to their opponent’s strategy, and they’ll deliver powerful opening and closing statements in real courtrooms in front of real judges.
The mock trial program was developed in the 1970s to teach high school students how the justice system works and how the law is applied in everyday life, while exposing them to critical thinking exercises and quick analysis through preparation and presentation. The first national championship was held in 1984.
Schedule of Events
— Thursday, May 10 – Teams arrive in Dallas; orientation.
— Friday, May 11 – Two rounds of trials, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the George Allen Courts Building.
— Saturday, May 12 – Two rounds of trials, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the George Allen Courts Building.
— Saturday, May 12 – Championship Round at 4:30 p.m. at the Old Red Courthouse.
— Saturday, May 12 – Announcement of Top Ten at Awards Banquet (7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency)
The Dallas Bar Association is a professional, voluntary organization of more than 9,000 Dallas-area attorneys.