By Eric Stroupe, Vice Principal
JSerra’s Pre-Law Professional Magnet Program students traveled to Chapman Law School to participate in a mock trial. Chapman Law School generously donated the use of their mock trial courtroom at the university.
Several legal professionals volunteered their time to show the students what a real jury trial looked like from beginning to end. The volunteer participants included a retired superior court commissioner, a San Diego deputy district attorney, a San Diego alternate public defender, a superior court bailiff, an Anaheim police officer, and an Anaheim assistant city attorney. Lastly, our very own senior Monika Patel played the role of the defendant who allegedly stole a plush toy from Disneyland. Imagine, someone stealing from the Mouse.
JSerra law magnet students played the role of prospective jurors who heard the case. The trial included jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination for both the prosecution and defense cases, jury deliberations and the final verdict. Jury deliberations were quite spirited and could be heard through the jury deliberation room door.
This seminar is a prelude to the Spring semester mock trial competition the students will train for and participate in during April and May. During the Spring competition, law magnet prosecution and defense teams will go head to head against each other during their own mock trial. Instead of watching the key players conduct the trial, they will be playing the roles of the key players. There will be four trials with the students being able to play multiple roles. It promises to be challenging, interesting and great fun.