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Local students prepare for Mock Trial

POSTED January 8, 2013 7:07 p.m.

Students from Turlock  and Pitman high schools will soon have their day in court.

The annual Stanislaus Mock trials will be held on Tuesday at the Stanislaus County Courthouse in Modesto.

This year’s fictitious case, People v. Vega, is a trial of Adrian Vega, a resident of Hidden Valley and child of the city’s mayor.  Vega is charged with failure to perform a duty following an accident (commonly referred to as felony hit-and run).

The students will be working in teams to study the case, conduct legal research and receive guidance from volunteer attorneys.

“The attorneys formulated their theme and theory, work with the witnesses and formulate questions based on their witness statement that help prove their theory,” said Turlock High AP American Government and College Prep World History teacher Jill Ogden.  “The pre-trial attorneys work on getting evidence included or excluded in the trial and use legal precedent to try to prove their case.”

Superior court judges will conduct each trial with the teams scored by attorneys practicing in Stanislaus County.

“We have a good mix of students with Mock Trial experience and some impressive newcomers on our team,” said Ogden.  “We also have two local volunteer attorneys that are a tremendous help to our team, Cory Chartrand and Richard Evans.”

The awards ceremony will follow the last trial round on Jan. 23 at the Peterson Event Center in Modesto.

“We will be competitive with the top teams in the county,” said Ogden.

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