Not a CBA Member? Join Now!
Find A Lawyer Directory
Legal Directory

TCL > May 2012 Issue > Colorado’s High School Students Have Their Day in Court

May 2012       Vol. 41, No. 5       Page  19
In and Around the Bar
CBA High School Mock Trial Program

Colorado’s High School Students Have Their Day in Court

Rock Canyon High School
Captures the 2012 Mock Trial Trophy


Congratulations to Rock Canyon High School for winning the 2012 state title at the CBA High School Mock Trial Tournament! The Boulder County Bar Association hosted the tournament on March 9 and 10 at the Boulder County Justice Center.

Twenty-four teams qualified to participate in this year’s state competition. As the Colorado victor, Rock Canyon advanced to compete at the National High School Mock Trial Championship on May 3–6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They will compete against forty-three high school teams hailing from the United States and U.S. Territories.

The 2012 case problem was a fictitious first-degree murder case, with characters loosely based on the reality series "Jersey Shore." The case involved a missing teenager and underage drinking. There was no body and very little hard evidence. Students were expected to fully prepare both the prosecution and defense sides of the case, with the possibility of performing either side during the competition.

Volunteerism at its Finest

Carolyn P. Gravit, CBA Director of Public Legal Education and Colorado Mock Trial Coordinator, is a firm believer in the high school mock trial program. She graciously accepts the compliments and congratulations that are bestowed on the program, the participants, and the many volunteers. However, she is the first person to generously acknowledge the collective hard work that goes into creating such a successful program each year.

It is the hardest part of our year, but it is so worth it. We believe in this program, and it shows. The Colorado High School Mock Trial Program is one of the strongest in the nation. Each year, the process helps students develop critical thinking, speaking, reasoning, strategic planning, and team collaborative skills.

Gravit, along with CBA Program Manager Meghan Bush, skillfully balanced the direction and management of the hundreds of volunteers, including coaches and scoring panelists, who shared their time, talent, and expertise to make this a successful competition. CBA Mock Trial Committee members, each of whom works no less than forty-eight hours on the state tournament alone, performed their work behind the scenes—orienting volunteers, analyzing numbers, and keeping the tournament running smoothly.

The tournament is the capstone of year-long efforts by committee members, who create an annual case problem and lead numerous training sessions for students and coaches. The committee members are: Co-Chairs Mary Roudebush and Teri Vasquez, Hilary A. Anderson, John Bolmer, Kischa Cook, Andrea Finana, Katherine Jenkins, Robert Kristufek, Austin Lewis, Natalie Lien, Porya Mansorian, Elsa T. Martinez Tenreiro, Amy Petri Beard, Emma Pinter, Katherine A. Sparks, Steve Thies, and Cyril Vidergar.

Highlights of the 2012 Competition

> For the first time in the programs history, a Douglas County school will represent Colorado at the national tournament. Rock Canyon High Schools team includes three seniors and five juniors. Team members are Andrew Charap, Chandler Hughes, Eric Jung, Rema Maaliki, Srish Sharma, and Brandon Speer. Alternates are Abby Thumann and Dylan Zbylski. Coaches are Madalia Maaliki, Emily Nault, Chris Page, and John Stevens.

> Denver Manager of Safety and former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martínez presided over the championship round. Other members of the championship round panel were Hon. Julie Anderson, a past chair of the CBA High School Mock Trial Committee; Paul Sung Cha, president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association; J. Keith Collins, president-elect of the Boulder County Bar Association; Ben Currier, CBA Young Lawyers Division chair; Hon. Lisa D. Hamilton-Fieldman, a civil litigation magistrate in the Twentieth Judicial District; Alden Hill, CBA Litigation Section Council representative; and Kara Veitch, president of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association.

Justice Martínez speaks highly of the program. "I have often heard young adults express appreciation for their mock trial experience," he commented recently. "They recognize the experience as opening their eyes to their potential."

> There are two awards that recognize outstanding teams and member accomplishmentsthe CBA Mock Trial Team Professionalism Award, which is voted by the teams, and Outstanding Attorney and Witness Awards, which are voted by scoring panelists from each round of competition. Aurora Central was presented the Team Professionalism Award, and several students were recognized for their outstanding performances as attorneys and witnesses. These students were honored with certificates in the presence of their peers, teachers, coaches, and parents.

> More than 100 teams statewide participated in the 2012 program. Mock trial teams typically are structured as extracurricular activities, coached by volunteer attorneys and teachers after school. Mock trial combines some elements involved in traditional clubs, such as debate, drama, student council, team sports, and honors society.

> As they prepared for their regional tournaments, approximately 1,200 students learned about the litigation process, gaining critical thinking, advocacy, strategic planning, and speaking skills along the way. The roster of regional tournament teams appears in the following pages.

> The CBA High School Mock Trial Program marked its twenty-seventh anniversary this year. Teams participated in nine regional tournaments across ColoradoAdams/Broomfield; Arapahoe County; Boulder County; Denver City/County; First Judicial DistrictJefferson County; Northern Colorado; Southern/
Pueblo Colorado; Western Slope; and the newly launched Douglas Elbert County Regional.

Never Enough Thanks

The High School Mock Trial Program exists because of the overwhelming support of CBA volunteers. The CBA Mock Trial Committee is grateful to all of the attorneys and teachers who devoted hundreds of hours to prepare the students for the regional and state tournaments.

The CBA also thanks the local bar associations and their attorney members who coordinated regional tournaments. There are hundreds of attorneys, judges, magistrates, paralegals, law students, and community volunteers who support the regional and state tournaments as presiding judges and scoring panelists. Without their commitment, these tournaments could not happen.

Of course, the students are at the heart of the program. Their interest in learning and their dedication to doing their best make a challenging program more than worthwhile. Their parents and teachers support them 100%, and the ardent promotion of the program is a clear sign of that support.

Every program requires sponsorship to survive. The CBA is grateful to the Colorado Bar Foundation and the CBA Litigation Section for their sponsorship again this year.

To find out how to become involved in this worthwhile educational program as an attorney–coach or a tournament volunteer, please contact Carolyn P. Gravit at (303) 824-5323, (800) 332-6736, or Visit the Colorado High School Mock Trial Program website throughout the year at for complete program information.

Air Academy and Aurora Central Team B are sworn in before trial begins.

Congratulations to the teams that participated
in the 2012 CBA State High School Mock Trial Program!

( ) denotes number of teams; teams not listed in ranked order


Holy Family High School (1); Mountain Range High School (1)



Aurora Central (3); Heritage High School (1); Kent Denver (3); Options High School (1); Rangeview High School (2); Regis Jesuit High School (3); St. Mary’s Academy (3); William Smith High School (1)

Advancing to State:
Aurora Central High School Teams A & B, Kent Denver Teams A & B,
Regis Jesuit Team A, St. Mary’s Academy Team A



Arapahoe Campus High School (1); Boulder High School (1); Fairview High School (1); Justice High School (1); Monarch High School (2); Nederland (1); Peak to Peak Charter (2)

Advancing to State:
Fairview High School, Peak to Peak Charter Team A



CEC (1); Colorado Academy (3); Denver School for International Studies (1); Denver School of Science & Technology (1); East High School (1); George Washington High School (2); KIPP Denver Collegiate (1); La Academia (1);

Advancing to State:
Colorado Academy Teams A & B


Douglas Elbert

Douglas County High School (1); Mountain Vista High School (3); Rock Canyon High School (3)

Advancing to State:
Mountain Vista High School Team A,
Rock Canyon High School Team A


First J.D. North

Arvada West High School (1); Early College of Arvada (1); Evergreen High School (2); Lakewood High School (3)

Advancing to State:
Lakewood High School Teams A & B


Northern Colorado

Fort Collins High School (1); Fort Lupton High School (1); Fleming High (1); Fossil Ridge High School (2); Poudre High School (2); Ridgeview Classical High School (3); Rocky Mountain High School (1); Yuma High School (1)

Advancing to State:
Poudre High School Teams A & B,
Ridgeview Classical High School Team A


Southern/Pueblo Colorado

Air Academy High School (2); Cheyenne Mountain High School (1); Coronado High School (3); Doherty High School (2); Falcon High School (2); Pueblo West High School (3); Sand Creek High School (2); Thomas MacLaren School (2); Vista Ridge High School (2); Wm. Jackson Palmer High School (3)

Advancing to State:
Air Academy High School Team A, Coronado High School Team A,
Doherty High School Team A,
Wm. Jackson Palmer High School Teams A & B


Western Slope

Durango High School (2); Glenwood Springs High School (3); Grand Junction High School (1); R-5 High School (1)

Advancing to State:
Glenwood Springs High School Teams A & C

Volunteer and committee member Cyril Vidergar presides as judge.  


Aurora Central High School Team A.
Aurora Central High School Team B.
Kent Denver Team A.
Kent Denver Team B.
Regis Jesuit Team A.
St. Mary's Academy Team A.


Fairview High School.
Peak to Peak Charter Team A.


Colorado Academy Team A.
Colorado Academy Team B.

Dougla   s Elbert   

Mountain Vista High School Team A.
Rock Canyon High School Team A.

First J.D. North 

Lakewood High School Team A.
Lakewood High School Team B.

Northern Colorado

Poudre High School Team A.
Poudre High School Team B.
Ridgeview Classical High School Team A.

 Southern/Pueblo Colorado

Air Academy High School Team A.
Coronado High School Team A.
Doherty High School Team A.
Wm. Jackson Palmer High School Team A.
Wm. Jackson Palmer High School Team B.

 Western Slope

Glenwood Springs High School Team A.
Glenwood Springs High School Team C.


Volunteer David Arkell presides over trials.

2012 State Tournament Noteworthy Awards

Outstanding Attorneys.
Outstanding Witnesses.
Team Professionalism—Aurora Central Team A.



Lakewood coaches and students taking a break during lunch.


Air Academy during a round.   Aurora Central Team B beginning a round.


Regis Jesuit Team A and Glenwood Springs Team C
congratulating one another after a trial.

2012 CBA High School Mock Trial Tournament—
It Didn’t Happen Without the Help of
Many People and Organizations!

Thank you to the bar associations that sponsored
the regional tournaments.

Congratulations and thanks to the many volunteers
who coordinated these tournaments!

Arapahoe County
Angel McCall, Magistrate Bonnie McLean

Boulder County
Christine Hylbert

Denver City/County
Meghan Bush, Carolyn Gravit

Douglas/Elbert County
Donna Stewart, Teresa Wilkins

First J.D.—Jefferson County North
Amanda Cruser, Hon. K.J. Moore

Northern Colorado
Stacey Aurzada, David Ayraud, Tim Brynteson, Linda Connors, and Sunita Sharma

Southern Colorado
Jason Downie, Patricia Kelly

Western Slope
Barbara Butler, Debbie Campbell


For hosting the 2012 High School Mock Trial Tournament
at the Boulder County Justice Center, the CBA thanks:

Boulder County Bar Association and Executive Director Christine Hylbert;
Boulder County Justice Center staff; and Amy Waddle, District Administrator


The CBA also thanks:

> CBA Litigation Section, for its $12,000 sponsorship support of the Colorado Mock Trial Program

> Colorado Bar Foundation, for its grant to support the regional tournaments and the travel of the 2012 Colorado Mock Trial winning team trip to the national championship in May in Albuquerque, New Mexico

> CBA Mock Trial Committee, for its efforts in planning the 2012 Colorado High School Mock Trial Program: Mary Roudebush, Co-Chair; Teri Vasquez, Co-Chair; Hilary Anderson; John Bolmer; Kischa Cook; Robert O. Kristufek; Austin Lewis; Natalie Lien; Porya Mansorian; Elsa Martinez Tenreiro; Amy Petri Beard; Emma Pinter; Katherine Sparks; Steve Thies; Cyril Vidergar


Congratulations and thank you to the
attorney–coaches and teacher–coaches!


Thank you to all volunteers, scoring panelists,
judges, and courtroom monitors!

Doug Abbott
Donald Abram
Edward Allen
Michelle Amico
Leigh Anderson
Andrea Arias
David Arkell
Anne Avert
Matt Aycock
Steve Bailey
Laura Bakes-Gleissner
Selina Baschiera
Krista Batchelder,
Hiedi Bauer
Michael Belo
Steven Bernard
Whitney Blair
Joseph Bodine
Niceta Bradburn
Kaylah Braun
Howard Buchalter
Karen Burns
Patrick Butler
Bill Caile
Maggie Carr
Luke Cederberg
Kischa Cook
Kelly Cox
Dawn Crespin
Sara Crocker
Sarah Cure
Gillian Dale
David Joaquin Pacheco
Patricia DeChristopher
Terri Diem
Cheryl Doyle
Stephanie Dunn
Lauren Eisenbach
Sara Erickson
Olympia Fay
Patricia Fennelly
Kellie Fetter
Sean Finn
Cathy Fowler
Pat Furman
Keith Goman
Jessica Green
Bobby Greene
Chad Grell
Mary Jo Gross
Robert Gunning
Robert Hawthorne
Tom Henson
Skip Hibbard
Patrick Hickey
Brad Hill
Reid Hollander
William Hood
Pamela Howell
David Hughes
Jennifer Hunt
David Juarez
Ruchi Kapoor
Mitchell Katz
Dennis Kaw
John Kellner
Deborah Klein
James Klein
Kathleen Kulasza
Jill Lafrenz
Ralph Lamar
Conrad Lattes
Jay Ledbetter
Kenneth Levinson
Sharon Liko
Randy Livingston
Linda Lovin
Meaghan MacKillop
Matthew Macy
Porya Mansorian
Jean Martin
Margaret McDonald
Bruce Menk
Peter Middleton
Ryan Morris
Mary Ann Mulligan
Tom Mulvahill
Reba Nance
Melissa Nicoletti
Brandi Lynn Nieto
Bradley O’Brien
Erin O’Brien
David Piper
Pat Post
Matthew Austin Pring
Courtney Przybylski
Robert Rand
Jacquelynn Rich
Henry Rickleman
Anastasia Ridgeway
Lauren Roberts
Kimberly Roy
Meggin Rutherford
Ed Schneider
Dave Schott
Ann Schroeder
Becky Seidel
Linda Sierius
Rebecca Siska-Salkin
John Skari
Amanda Slater
Erica Slauson
Cooper Smith
Diane Vaksdal Smith
Jack Smith
Christine Snider
Dana Spade
Arthur Spicciati
Amy Sreenen
Marc Stanley
Peter Stapp
Doug Stevens
Jarrae Swanson
Sara Van Deusen
Amber VandenHout
Cyril Vidergar
Mark Wase
Pete Wasley
Fran Wasserman
Gwen Whalen
Pat Wilkes
Cooper Wood
George Wortman
Mandy Yick
Jessica Zacharias
Kaela Zihlman

© 2012 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at