Mock Trial

The Michigan Center for Civic Education and the State Bar of Michigan

Present the

2014 Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament: State of Superior v. Sam Seaside

March 1 – Regional Round; Macomb County*
March 8 Regional Rounds; Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids
March 15 – Regional Round; Pontiac

March 29 – State Finals; Lansing

This year's case is a criminal case surrounding the disappearance and alleged murder of a high-school student:

Following Superior High School's Senior Prom, "Sam" Seaside held a party while his/her parents were out of town. Among other things, when Sam's parents returned, Mr. Seaside found that his gun was missing. The following weekend, Sam snuck out of the house to attend a pre-graduation party with some friends. Some of the other students who attended the party saw Sam arguing with his longtime friend "Nicki" Shore. Sometime later, Sam and Nicki left the party in Nicki's car with "Jo" Turner, Nicki's love interest. Nicki never returned home, but his/her car was found in the parking lot near the playground at a local park that Sunday. In the car, police found a bullet, and crime-lab analysis revealed that there were blood stains on the passenger-side interior. After interviewing the available witnesses and conducting extensive forensic analysis, police arrested and charged Sam Seaside for the murder of Nicki Shore. Nicki's body was never found.

* As a new location for 2014, the registration for the Regional Round in Macomb County is available on a "tentative" basis. While we expect the event to proceed, if registration for the event does not meet minimum requirements, the Macomb County Regional Round may be cancelled. In the event of cancellation, teams selecting this location will be notified as early as possible and will have the option of competing at a different location or receiving a refund of their registration fees (minus a $25 administration fee).

How Does the Competition Work?

  • Teams of 6-10 students present arguments before panels of judges. One judge presides over the trial, while the rest sit as the jury.
  • Schools may register multiple teams at $250 per team.
  • Beginning November 1, 2013, case materials will be released to registered teams.
  • The tournament begins with regional competitions. Teams may select the region in which they prefer to compete; however, space is limited at regional sites, and the MCCE may assign sites based on location sites.
  • The regional competitions will take place on the following dates:
    • March 1, 2014; Macomb County Regional
    • March 8, 2014; Ann Arbor Regional and Grand Rapids Regional
    • March 15, 2014; Pontiac Regional
  • The top 10 teams will compete in the State Finals on March 29, 2014, in Lansing.
  • The state champions will be eligible to compete in the National Mock Trial Championship in Madison, WI, May 8-10, 2014.

How Do We Enter?

  • Complete and return the Mock Trial Registration Form (PDF) or Register Online.
  • If mailing in your registration, enclose a check for $250 payable to Michigan Center for Civic Education.
  • If registering online, you may pay by credit card using PayPal (there is a $10.00 per team transaction fee).
  • Registrations will be accepted until January 9, 2014.
  • A 50% refund of Registration fees will be available for teams withdrawing BEFORE 5:00 p.m. on January 9, 2014.

How Do I Prepare My Team?

  • Teams receive tournament rules and case materials via email.
  • In addition to the teacher, teams are encouraged to work with an attorney coach. Teachers themselves need not be legal experts. Teams should make their own contacts with attorney coaches by calling on parents and other community members or by contacting a local bar association.
    • If you need assistance finding an attorney coach, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • A mock trial clinic for students and coaches will be held in November at Cooley Law School's Auburn Hills campus on November 21, 2013.  The clinic will be a day of sessions with experienced attorneys and tournament judges covering basic trial techniques.  Clinic registration is not included in the basic tournament registration fee, and clinic participation is not required.
    • The clinic sessions will also be available using Cooley Law School's Distance Education system at the Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor Campuses

March 10 – Regional Rounds; Pontiac and Grand Rapids

March 24 – State Finals; Lansing

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