The Delaware High School Mock Trial competition is an annual competitive event held over two days at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington. Teams of high school students compete in presenting a variety of cases before the court. The teams are given the same case details or fact-patterns to present. The cases can be either civil or criminal.
The students on each team consist of a Plaintiff or Defense counsel, witnesses, and courtroom artists. The attorneys presenting the case are either responsible for opening or closing statements, direct or cross examination of the witness. Each of these functions are timed. The presiding judge, jurors, and other courtroom personnel who volunteer their time for the event, do not know the high school the team represents. The presiding judges and the jurors are either judges in the Delaware court system or licensed Delaware attorneys.
Last year, I volunteered as a member of the Delaware Paralegal Association. I was a Bailiff and a score runner, (I delivered the scores for my particular trial to the scorekeepers office.) It was an amazing experience watching these students think on their feet and handle themselves and their cases in such a profession manner.
This year things will be a little different. Due to COVID-19 and the concerns for larger gatherings, the almost 400-student (plus coaches and family) competition will be virtual. Like most things in the legal profession today, the trials will be held via Zoom. The students will present their cases. The witnesses and experts will testify. The artists will use their talents, all in a virtual world. Of course, there will still be judges and jurors. How can you have a case without them?
As a volunteer, my role this year will be as host and video recorder for the trial I am assigned. I will be an electronic bailiff. I am thrilled that the Delaware High School Mock Trial Competition is still being held in 2021 and am proud to be a part of it as a member of the Delaware legal community. May the best team win!
If you or a family member has any legal questions or needs, contact Murphy & Landon for a free consultation: 866-939-8100 or 302-472-8100.