Clovis North High -- a school without a single senior on its team -- beat out 14 other high schools to win the Fresno County Mock Trial Competition on Thursday.
The win dethroned Buchanan High School, which had won the county competition for nine straight years. Clovis North will now represent Fresno County in the state finals March 19-21 in Santa Clara. Clovis North opened in 2007 and doesn't yet have a senior class; the oldest participants on the mock trial team are in 11th grade. Age, however, didn't seem to matter.
In the event, sponsored by the Fresno County Office of Education, students act as lawyers, witnesses, bailiffs and court clerks. Each team has eight to 20 students, earning points based on how they represent their case in front of sitting judges and attorneys.
The case involved a first-degree murder that included a pre-trial argument involving the Fourth Amendment guarantee of freedom from unreasonable search and seizures. The teams attempted to determine whether a comedian murdered an entertainment critic after the critic posted negative reviews of him on the Internet.
Clovis North scored 293 points while Clovis High, the second-highest team, earned 288 points.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Bruce Smith presided over the competition, which took place in a real courtroom.