More About Mock Trial
The Case, Students & Competition
Constitutional Rights Foundation annually creates and produces a new set of Mock Trial materials based on an important issue facing America’s youth. The materials include a hypothetical criminal case (including summaries of case law, witness statements, official exhibits, and simplified rules of evidence), lesson plans on the central issues in the case, and competition rules and guidelines.
The Sacramento area has hosted the annual Gordon D. Schaber (GDS) Mock Trial competition since 1979. Cases are released to all California counties in the early fall. The GDS Mock Trial competition occurs in early spring, and includes multiple rounds of trials. The first-place team of the GDS Mock Trial competition moves on to the State Finals in March. In May, the winner of the state competition represents California at the annual National High School Mock Trial competition, involving teams from 54 states and territories.
Approximately 350–400 students from 20–25 high schools in the Sacramento area participate in the Mock Trial competition. Students actively experience the excitement of working in teams, exchanging ideas, setting goals, and examining issues while interacting with positive role models from their communities. They acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society.