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Mock Trial: Murrieta, Temecula Students Advance to "Elite Eight" Round

Mock Trial individual winners, pairings for Elite Eight round announced by Riverside County Office of Education.

Teams from Murrieta Valley, Great Oak and Temecula Valley high schools advanced to the Elite Eight round of the 30th annual Riverside County Mock Trial competition, it was announced Saturday.

Mock Trial involves students arguing cases in front of real judges and scored by real attorneys. More than 500 students from 26 high schools have participated in this year's competition that began Feb. 6.

This year students are arguing the case, People vs. Vega. Vega is charged with felony hit-and-run stemming from an accident.

The event is sponsored by the Riverside County Office of Education, Riverside County Bar Association, and Riverside Superior Court.

The Elite Eight round will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Riverside Hall of Justice. Teams set to compete, listed in prosecution versus defense order, include: Palm Desert High School vs. Great Oak High School; Murrieta Valley High School vs. King High School; Hemet High School vs. Temecula Valley High School; and Santiago High School vs. Poly High School.

The winning teams will then advance to the semi-final round, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 2 at the Riverside Historic Courthouse.

This will be followed by a championship round at 1 p.m. and a final awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

The winning team will compete March 22-24 at the California State Mock Trial Competition to be held in Sacramento.

Along with the Elite Eight pairings, the Riverside County Office of Education announced this year's individual award recipients. These include:

Outstanding Bailiff:  Josh Lapuz, Santiago High School

Outstanding Clerk:  Alec Steele, La Quinta High School

Outstanding Defense Pretrial Motion Attorney:  Howard Berkowitz, Palm Desert High School

Outstanding Prosecution Pretrial Motion Attorney: Nicole Calderone, La Quinta High School

Outstanding Prosecution Witnesses: 

Officer Kelly Wright: Adam Chebahtah, Woodcrest Christian High School

Toni DeLuca: Megan Owens, King High School

Quinn Liu: Jake Phillips, Marywood Palm Valley

Cameron Douglas: Ana Carrera, Citrus Hill High School

Outstanding Defense Witnesses:  

Defendant Adrian Vega: Caroline Olson, Xavier College Preparatory

Dallas Decamp: Ariana Elizalde, Lakeside High School

Aubrey Fox: Kristen Lem, Temecula Valley High School

Taylor Berard: Thomas Lee, King High School

Outstanding Prosecution Attorneys:  

Hans Britsch, Great Oak High School

Lanae Harris-Pitts, Citrus Hill High School

Rachel Budd, Chaparral High School*

*Won a summer internship with the District Attorney’s Office

Outstanding Defense Attorneys:   

LJ Valenzuela, Arlington High School

Miguel Romero, Indio High School

Misha Perinova, Poly High School*


*Won a summer internship with the Public Defender’s Office

Brenda February 26, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Good luck local teenagers!!! It is such an honor to be involved in this and it's fun also. Some don't realize that not only is it a real presentation of a case but you are presenting it to so many Judges. Not even Attorneys in school have to do that and be graded by all of them!! LOL Main thing that got you this far is you love it and have fun too, so keep up the good work and keep having fun and learning from it. This is the best training you can get for becoming an Attorney if you decide to later on so take it and run with it. Congrats to all of you for getting this far and bring the wins HOME!!!

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