College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Cal Poly Pomona's Mock Trial Team has a successful 2016-2017 season

On Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend, Cal Poly Mock Trial competed in Tucson, Arizona, at the annual Gunslinger Mock Trial Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona. The invitational consisted of the top teams in the country and was held in the newly-opened Pima County Justice Courthouse.  Over that weekend, Cal Poly scored wins against the University of Washington and USC.  Two Cal Poly students did so well, they each earned individual attorney awards for their performances.  Jose Contreras and Naomi Alexander earned these distinctions.  For reference, only the top 5% of the competitors of any competition earn awards for their performances.  

Cal Poly Pomona's Mock Trial Team

After returning from Tucson, the Team was back on the road competing at the annual UNLV Rebel-Trojan, All-In Mock Trial Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. This tournament consisted of over 30 teams from 20 different schools and was held at the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV. Despite the tough matchups against USC and Furman University, Cal Poly brought home a trophy for placing sixth out of the 32 collegiate teams competing.  In addition to the team award, Amanda Craik received an outstanding attorney award for her individual performance that weekend.  

On the weekend of February 26th, the Team competed at the Regional Tournament at Pomona College in Claremont, California.  At Pomona College, Cal Poly outranked teams from Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, and Loyola Marymount University and earned a bid to the Opening Round of the Championship Series (ORCS) competition in March. While all collegiate teams are eligible to compete at the regional level, only the top six teams (out of about 30) from each region may advance to ORCS. In addition to the Team’s collective accomplishment, the following students were presented awards based on their individual performances:  Michael Lopez was recognized as an outstanding attorney; Sarah Saucedo was recognized as an outstanding witness; and Madeline Perez was recognized as an outstanding witness.

To compete at the ORCS tournament, the Team will be traveling to Fresno State University on March 24th.  Scoring well at ORCS will mean Cal Poly may earn a bid to the National Championship Series at the Stanley Mosk courthouse in Los Angeles, paving the way to becoming a national champion.

Prior to joining the team, all students must first successfully complete PLS 308 taught by local trial attorney, Raul Sabado.  PLS 308 is offered each fall, and offers students the opportunity learn the skills and art of being a trial lawyer.  The class includes trial advocacy, the law of evidence, criminal law, civil law and legal analysis.

Each year, universities across the nation teach students trial advocacy skills to prepare them to face students from other universities in competitions that simulate real world courtroom trial conditions.  The competitions employ actual rules of law, require actual trial strategy and skill, and are judged by actual judges and trial lawyers.  Each academic year that begins with an even number involves the study and trial strategy of a civil lawsuit.  Each academic year that begins with an odd number involves the study and trial strategy of a criminal prosecution.  The subject for this academic year is a wrongful termination cased premised upon employment discrimination, not only familiarizing students with being lawyers but also immersing them in issues facing anyone working for an employer.

For more information about the Cal Poly Mock Trial Program, please visit http://www.cppmocktrial.com/ and be on the lookout for PLS 308 in the fall.  It is recommended that students interested in mock trial take PLS 308 when a student has at least 2 years of school remaining.