Justice Committee seeking SLV Mock Trial Team members

Courtesy photo Pictured in front of the El Paso County courthouse are 2022-23 San Luis Valley Mock Trial Team members from left to right, Judge Crista Newmyer-Olsen, Dhara Patel, coach Lisa Mizell, Estevan Vega, Jacquelyne Garcia, Angela Walzl, Paloma Zahringer, Itzel Lopez, Jude Walzl, Damion Garcia, and coach Chad Keizer.

Informational meetings set for Oct. 13 and 27

SAN LUIS VALLEY — The San Luis Valley Mock Trial Team was formed in 2020 through the 12th Judicial District’s Access to Justice Committee and is gearing up for the 2023-24 mock trial competition.

A team of San Luis Valley high school students will again have the opportunity to prepare a mock trial case and compete at the regional Colorado High School Mock Trial competition in February, with an opportunity to earn a spot at the state competition in March of 2024.

The official 2023-2024 mock trial case will be released at midnight on Oct. 31 and team meetings will begin on Friday, Nov. 3, at the Alamosa County Justice Center.

The mock trial program offers several unique opportunities to high school students in the San Luis Valley.  Students from any area high school, home school or alternative school may participate in the program.  The coaches and instructors are legal professionals within the community who volunteer their time each year.

Students who choose to treat the program as a class are eligible to receive Adams State University credit for one year of their participation in the program. Judge Crista Newmyer-Olsen is the instructor for the Adams State University course.  The program is an extracurricular activity for any student interested in theater, public speaking, government, or law.  

The Colorado Bar Association has sponsored the Colorado High School Mock Trial Program since 1985. Each year more than 100 high school teams participate in Colorado’s mock trial program. Approximately 1,500 students perform as attorneys or witnesses in a court case. Hundreds of attorneys, judges, teachers, and other community leaders volunteer their time to instruct students about the judicial system and the trial process.

More information can be found by going to www.coloradohighschoolmocktrial.com.

“The 12th Judicial District is proud to offer this opportunity to San Luis Valley youth,” organizers stated.

A virtual informational meeting will be held at 3 p.m. on Oct. 13 and an in-person informational meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 27 at the Alamosa County Justice Center. Interested students, parents and teachers are encouraged to attend.  Those who wish to attend the virtual meeting may do so by going to https://judicial.webex.com/join/crista.newmyer-olsen.