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March 4, 2006 - St. Mary's Academy wins 21st Annual CBA Mock Trial Championships

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March 4, 2006
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St. Mary’s Academy wins 21st Annual CBA Mock Trial Championships

St. Mary’s Academy edged out Regis High School in the 21st Colorado Bar Association High School Mock Trial state finals in Denver on Saturday. 

This is the first year that St. Mary’s has claimed the title, ending the four-year reign of a Glenwood Springs High School team in the tournament. St. Mary’s will compete in the national championships in Oklahoma City, OK in May.

The state finals were held at the Denver County Court Building. Twenty-two teams competed, including: Bear Creek, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Coronado, Doherty, Durango, Evergreen, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Holy Family, Kennedy, Kent Denver, Monarch, Palmer, Ralston Valley, Regis, Sand Creek, and St. Mary’s Academy high schools. Ninety-three schools across the state competed in regional tournaments in February.

In the finals, teams tried the case of a high school basketball game where an aggressive player injured a rising star after shoving the player on the court. Judges for the championship round included Denver District Court Judge Christina Habas, Denver Bar Association President Christopher Little, Denver County Court Judge Andrew Armatas, Colorado Bar Association President-Elect Liz Starrs, and Asian Pacific Bar Association President-Elect Sue Kim. Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez presided.

All teams prepare both sides of the case and don’t find out which side they will take until they step into the courtroom. Students take all roles, including prosecutors, defense attorneys and witnesses, but do not serve as judges. Students are judged on how well they know the case, question witnesses, advocate their side of the case, make and respond to objections, as well as how well witnesses play their roles, and dramatic speaking and persuasive argument skills.

Teacher and attorney coaches have been working with the students since the fall to prepare them for competition. This is the 21st year of Mock Trials sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association, and each year the process helps students develop critical thinking, speaking, reasoning, strategic planning and team collaborative skills.