Thirty two teams of high school students from around the state who are participating in the high school mock trial program will descend on Des Moines next Wednesday (March 26) to compete in the 33rd Annual High School Mock Trial State Tournament. That means lots of judges are needed to evaluate student performance in their roles as attorneys and witnesses in the competitions, says John Wheeler, director of the ISBA’s Center for Law and Civic Education and coordinator of the mock trial program.
Each team will compete in three preliminary rounds of competition with the first round starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (formerly Veterans Auditorium). The remaining two rounds will be held at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday (March 27). Semi-finals and finals will be held on Friday (March 28) at the judicial branch building.
Each preliminary round features 16 individual competitions. Three judges are needed for each competition, which translates into 48 judges per round, or 144 judges for the three rounds.
Wheeler says some judges have already signed up for slots in the preliminary rounds, but many more are needed. He asks ("begs” might be a more appropriate word) that you sign up for one or more of the competitions if at all possible. You don’t have to be a trial attorney to be a mock trial judge.
To sign up, click here, or send Wheeler an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about this year’s case and what you need to do as a judge, click on this link.