The Morro Bay High School Mock Trial Blue Team in the SLO County Superior Courthouse where the trial that takes them to state finals. Pictured back row: Vivi Alvarez, Eli Waldman, Rae Ruane, Dan Clement (coach), Reese Demarest, Orion Rae, Noah Cuarenta, Bill Powell (coach), and Curtis Bradley (coach). Front row from left to right: Christine Dietrick (coach), Karen Lun, Angie Molina, Madi Alvarez, Wafa Bhatti, and Josh Waldman (teacher-coach) Photo submitted
For the first time, Morro Bay High School won the county mock trial competition by defeating Mission College Prep on Thursday, February 16. The team went 6-0 in county competition, improving upon their previous all-time best of second place in 2021-22.
Mock trial is an extracurricular, academic competition where students work with local attorneys and other skilled community members to develop both sides of a criminal trial. The Constitutional Rights Foundation creates the case materials and rules, and attorney John Fricks organizes the tournament in San Luis Obispo County. This year’s case, People v. Jordan Franks, involved an actor charged with robbery and battery after being involved in a confrontation with a co-star onboard a cruise ship.
The students of the Morro Bay Blue Team will travel to Los Angeles from March 17-19 where they will compete in the California State Mock Trial Finals against 34 other county high school champions. The winner of the State competition will go on to represent California at National Finals in Little Rock, Arkansas in May.
MBHS’s upcoming field trip to Los Angeles involves a substantial amount of costs, including round trip bus transportation, rooms at the Biltmore Hotel, and approximately eight meals for each student. Although the team has received strong indications that considerable financial support is forthcoming from the local school district and the San Luis Obispo County Mock Trial Committee, headed by John Frick, the Morro Bay Mock Trial program has not yet calculated all of the anticipated costs of this field trip, and is uncertain whether the forthcoming financial support will be sufficient to cover those costs.
The MBHS’ ASB organization is collecting donations on behalf of the Mock Trial Team. All donations are tax deductible with the San Luis Coastal Unified School District’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Readers can donate through the Morro Bay website at: bit.ly/3mmm384 or by mailing check donations to: MBHS, 235 Atascadero Rd, Morro Bay, CA 93442. Checks should be made payable to “MBHS” and contain information in the notes section stating; “for the benefit of Mock Trial Team”
All donations received will directly benefit the MBHS Mock Trial program. If the total amount of donations collected exceeds the total cost of this field trip, any surplus will be retained for the program’s future use.
Morro Bay High School is the only school in the county that fielded two separate teams in this year’s county competition, and its mock trial program involves nearly 30 students, many of whom have participated in the program since their time at Los Osos Middle School.
Morro Bay Mock Trial is coached by attorneys Dan Clement, Christine Dietrick, Gary Ottoson, and Bill Powell. Cal Poly graduate Becca Goren, current Cal Poly student Yuval Shemesh, and MBHS graduate Curtis Bradley assist in coaching. Morro Bay teacher Josh Waldman is the teacher-coach.