Willow Glen High School Mock Trial Team Information

Mock Trial Phohttp://www.sjusd.org/willow-glen-high/images/January 18-19, 2014

General Information


Willow Glen is one of approximately twenty-five public and private high schools that participate in the Santa Clara County Mock Trial Program.  Students in Mock Trial have the unique opportunity to learn what it is like to prepare and present a legal case before the court.  Each year Mock Trial teams analyze and prepare a hypothetical criminal case that is provided by the Constitutional Rights Foundation and used by all participating California high schools.  Past cases have involved such topical issues as unlawful search and seizure, felony hit and run and forced labor human trafficking. Team selection, case preparation and competitions run from September through February. For additional information please see the Frequently Asked Questions below or contact head coach James A. Scharf at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How does Mock Trial work?

A:  Mock Trial is a competitive program that blends elements of law, debate, and theater.  A Mock Trial team is comprised of a prosecution team, a defense team and court staff roles.  Each separate team consists of one pre-trial attorney, three trial attorneys, and four witnesses.  Approximately 18 students participate on a team each year.  Team selection is competitive, particularly for attorney roles. Auditions for the 2017-18 attorney roles will be conducted in Spring 2017.  Auditions for witness and other roles will be conducted in October 2017 after the publication of the new case.  Casting is selective and not all students will be given speaking roles.

Q:  Why should I try Mock Trial?

Mock Trial is a unique opportunity to learn about our legal system and improve your public speaking skills.  Teams conduct legal research and receive individual coaching in trial preparation, courtroom protocol, courtroom procedure, analysis and communication. Tournament rounds are presided over by real judges, and are scored by real lawyers. You can not only strengthen your critical thinking and communication skills, but also learn about topical issues and be part of a winning team!  Check out this year’s case, or go to the Santa Clara County Mock Trial web site and scroll down to the Coaches Clipboard.

Q What is the time commitment? 

A Willow Glen’s Mock Trial program is competitive, rigorous, and time-intensive.  Mock Trial meetings are typically held 6:00-7:30 pm on Tuesday nights.  There are also some Saturday scrimmages.  The team participates in three weekend Invitational tournaments in November, December, and January, in preparation for the county tournament in February.  The county tournament rounds in February are typically held 6:00-8:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Santa Clara County Superior Court in downtown San Jose.  In addition to attending these meetings, scrimmages, and tournament rounds, students are expected to practice on their own time.       

Q How much does it cost?

A The student cost is typically $150.00 This pays for the team sweatshirts, and food and lodging at the Carmel Invitational over MLK weekend in January.  Mock trial families will also need to make potluck contributions for several scrimmage events. We are fortunate to be able to keep program costs low because of the generosity of The Willow Glen Education Foundation, WGHS and the Santa Clara County Mock Trial program sponsors - the Santa Clara County Bar Association, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and the Santa Clara County Superior Court. 

Q How has the team performed in past tournaments?

A Since Willow Glen reformed its team in 2011 under the leadership of Head Coach James A. Scharf, the team has won the county tournament twice (2013 and 2014) and placed second twice (2012 and 2016). 

Q How do I join?

A: First, you should contact Head Coach James A. Scharf, and ask to be placed on the email list for next year’s team.  Second, you should come watch a tournament round in February.  Third, you should participate in the August Saturday Tutorials which you will learn about through the team’s e-mail list.  Fourth, you should participate in the auditions this upcoming Spring for attorney roles and in October 2017 for all other roles.

Q Who should I contact for additional information?

A For further information, please contact head coach James A. Scharf, Assistant United States Attorney, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), (415) 912-6370.