What is mock trial?
Mock trial is debate mixed with theater and topped off with a dash of science. It's flashy suits and flashier personalities. It's heroism and heartbreak, triumph and tragedy, guilty and not guilty. Mock trial may be pretend court, but it is still real life experience.
A simulated courtroom competition, mock trial pits small teams, usually eight to ten students, against each other in head-to-head match-ups. Each round consists of a full trial, complete with opening statements and closing arguments as well as direct and cross examinations of six witnesses. Student participants assume the role of both lawyers and witnesses as they argue and act their way through each trial. Every round in a given year deals with the same fact situation, but objection arguments, creative characters, and passionate oration ensure that no two rounds are alike.
How large is a mock trial team?
Every college mock trial team consists of six to ten people, with six competing in a given round -- three attorneys sitting at counsel table and three witnesses taking the stand. Each team is responsible for presenting both sides of the case, prosecution/plaintiff and defense. UCLA has five competitive teams.
How does a mock trial competition work?
Each tournament consists of four rounds, with each team competing on both sides of the case twice. This means that a given team will face four other college teams over the course of two or three days, arguing twice for the prosecution and twice for the defense. Each round will be scored by two judges, usually legal professionals, with one serving as the presiding judge and the other as a jury member. A team can win as many as two ballots per round, each worth one point. At the end of the tournament, teams will be ranked according to their records, with a perfect record being 8-0. In the case of a tie between teams, officials can use various tie-breaker methods.