Mock Trial

What is Mock Trial?

Mock trial tests competitors' abilities to think on one's feet, analyze information, work as a team, and keep calm under pressure. Some competitors, taking the roles of witnesses, will develop acting and improvisational skills. They will not only create interesting characters, they will have to outmaneuver the team's opposing counsel. Other team members become attorneys, arguing the law and examining witnesses.

Mock trial, which exists at the high school, collegiate, and law school levels, has become a robust nationwide activity. The American Mock Trial Association (commonly known as "AMTA") was founded in 1985 to facilitate college mock trial in the United States. Today, more than 350 colleges field more than 600 teams.

Each team, of six to ten students, prepares both sides of a comprehensive case created by AMTA. Each case includes witness affidavits and depositions, expert reports, physical exhibits, statutes, and case law. The cases take place in the fictitious state of Midlands. While there are numerous invitational competitions, there are three main levels of AMTA competition: Regionals, Opening Round Championships (ORCs), and Nationals. A final National Championship Round between two teams ends the competition season each year.

In a round, three team members will play attorneys; three team members will play witnesses. As rounds evolve, each team's strategy has to change. One lawyer from each side delivers an opening statement, another a closing argument. Each attorney directly examines one witness from their team and cross-examines a witness from the opposing team. As in real trials, lawyers object to evidence from the other side, arguing to a presiding judge and a panel of judges treated as a jury.

About Our Program

CC's Mock Trial Program began in the 2013-14 academic year, started by former high school mock trial competitor Taylor Kelson '14. After he secured funding and recruited eight team members, he asked El Paso County Judge Regina Walter to coach the team. Walter had successfully coached a local high school mock trial team in Colorado Springs for a number of years and decided to take on the new challenge.

In the first year of the program, the seven-person team went to their Regional competition. Although there are no official place rankings in Regionals, the team emerged with the best record from that Regional. They advanced through their ORC to become one of less than 50 teams to go to Nationals. In the end, they placed eighth in their division (one of two divisions), becoming one of the top 20 ranked teams in the nation.

In the years since the team has advanced to the Opening Round Championship several times. In 2020 the Colorado College A-Team qualified again for the National Championship before it was canceled because of the pandemic. We intend to make it back to Nationals to make up for that loss!

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Report an issue - Last updated: 07/18/2023