Mock Trial

Welcome to Michigan Mock Trial

Dear Mock Trialers!

The case has been released! Please take a moment to ensure you can download the material. Also, notice the link below for any/all case clarifications. Please complete the form below to let us know of any / all questions you have.

Registration will be postponed until December in order to work with our courthouses to see which regionals will be in person and which will be virtual. We expect a hybrid of regional events based on local courthouse and public health decisions.

Please complete the form right below to stay up to day with coaches roundtable dialogue, regional updates, and case updates as well.

We wish you a great season!

Quick Links

Resources for Schools

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we navigate the public health situation together. While we anticipate all the dates to be correct, we will work with our courthouses to determine which regional events will be in person and which will be virtual. If in person, masks will be required. If virtual, Zoom will be the platform.

Decision on state finals will be pending. If in person, it will be in Kalamazoo.

Decision on the National Finals is also pending. If in person, it will be in Kalamazoo. If virtual, we will be utilizing Zoom (much like last year).

Competition and Showcase Plans

  • Plan A: Combination of one hybrid option and in person regionals + in person state championship
  • Plan B: tbd based on courtroom large group gathering permissions
  • Plan C: All virtual events

Please know the Board at MCCE is carefully weighing all concerns and variables – and prioritizing the health of the students, volunteers, and staff first. The regional structure is likely to remain the same concerning the number of teams who advance from a regional to states will be a proportion of schools registered for that regional. It is our hope to have a decision regarding virtual, in-person, or hybrid in early December so that teams can register according to what best fits their schedule. Please do prepare for both virtual and in person in your practices as there may be both throughout the season. Thank you for prioritizing the health of our civic community and your flexibility as we navigate this together.

Updated Tentative Dates for Mock Trial and the Artistry and Reporting Companion Programs (may move based on Courthouse availability and public health advice):

  • February 19, 2022 – Washtenaw (Virtual) and Wayne (Virtual)
  • February 26, 2022 – Oakland (Virtual) and Ingham (Virtual)
  • March 5 – Macomb (In Person – Thank You Macomb County Bar Foundation for hosting. Masks will be required. There is no virtual option this weekend.) *
  • March 12 – Kent (Format TBD)
  • March 18 – Adult Evening Reception (Format TBD. If in person – in Kalamazoo, otherwise virtual.)  Registration Link Pending.
  • March 19 – MCCE’s Mock Trial State Championship and Showcase. (Format TBD. If in person – in Kalamazoo, otherwise virtual.)

*The Mock Trial format is at the discretion of the Macomb County Bar Foundation. Should the format need to change, updates will be made both online and emailed to registered teams.  Preference for the Macomb Regional will be given to those schools in Macomb County followed by date of registration.

Michigan Civics Education Mock Trial

Coming Soon - School and Volunteer Sign Up

School & Team Registration

Volunteer Information

About Mock Trial

What is Mock Trial and How Do I Get Started?

Welcome! More than a law related simulation, Mock Trial transcends the courtroom to provide life long skills in speaking, listening, collaboration, argument, confidence, and civic self efficacy. Please start with this helpful FAQ about getting started in Michigan.

Registration opens November 1. Case materials will be released that same day.

MCCE and the State Bar of Michigan will be here to assist new and returning teams however we can to ensure successful participation! Plus, MCCE and the State Bar of Michigan will be here to assist however we can to ensure successful participation.

MCCE is expanding to offer additional law related education opportunities for more students than those in front of the bench. Are you an artist? Join us and illustrate the courtroom proceedings! Are you a rising journalist? Join us and use the courtroom to create a news report!

About Mock Trial

Mock Trials are exciting activities to teach content and appreciation of our adversarial judicial system. They are designed to reenact much of what might take place in a trial court. Students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and compete against each other in real courtrooms in front of real judges and lawyers. Students interpret legal documents, witness statements, and take on roles and simulate a trial in real life and real time. Participants adjust to the strategies employed by the opposing side. Mock trials draw upon historical events, trials of contemporary interest, school or classroom situations, or hypothetical and entertaining fact patterns to inspire students to think critically and creatively about the law.

In 2006, John T. Berry, Executive Director of the State Bar of Michigan, described the MCCE mock trial program as:

“[A] unique opportunity for young people to learn about the legal system, while at the same time practicing cooperative learning, critical thinking, and having positive interactions with adults. Participating in Mock Trial will certainly give a young person interested in a future legal career the chance to experience the challenges of the courtroom firsthand. However, for those following other paths, it is still a valuable and challenging exercise in reasoning, public speaking, and intellectual performance under pressure.”

How does Mock Trial Help a Student Grow?

Mock Trial is a proven instructional strategy for elementary and secondary students. It helps students develop important knowledge about the law and legal system and it develops critical-thinking and speaking skills.

Good mock trials leave student participants with an appreciation of the difficulties that judges, lawyers, and juries face in attempting to present all relevant facts and legal arguments and how these pieces fit together to ensure the just resolution of the issues involved.

Margaret J. Krasnoff’s May, 2005 article in the Michigan Bar Journal provides some additional insight:

“Mock trial teams study the materials, learn relevant legal principals, develop the case, practice witness examinations, and prepare opening statements and closing arguments. Just like real lawyers? Yes, indeed. The results are inspiring and sometimes, humbling. These high school students arrive in court as articulate and prepared advocates for their clients, knowledgeable concerning the law of their case, and practiced in courtroom etiquette. Each team is prepared to try both sides of the case, and each team argues both sides during the competition. Even a casual observer of the mock trial can’t miss the fact that these students are engaged in and enjoying this experiential, educational endeavor. They are poised, confident, attentive, and able to think on their feet as they respond to objections or unanticipated twists in the testimony. It is equally educational for the legal professionals who volunteer to sit as presiding judges and scoring judges during the competition.”

To read the entire article, Click Here (PDF).

How Do I Get My Students Involved?

There are so many ways to become involved in Mock Trial. First, you can use Mock Trial for learning in your classroom. Adapt the trial to historical events or simulate a modern court issue. Second, and this is where MCCE is right here to help, join us at the Michigan High School Mock Trial series. Field a team or more at the MCCE Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament.

If you just want to run a mock trial in your classroom, there are some great resources online. The American Bar Association’s Division for Public Education published a booklet with a lot of information and some sample trials for all grade levels:

Mock Trial Information Shortcut Menu:

Please use this shortcut menu for Google Doc access to many of the forms [to use Google Docs and adapt them to your needs, you can go to “File” enter, then “Make a Copy”. You will be able to edit the documents this way. You also go to “download as” and choose a file of your preference]. Continue reading beyond this section for additional information on Mock Trial.

FAQ: About Mock Trial – Getting Started!

Non-Teacher Building Administrator Release

The Mock Trial National Championship is coming to Michigan May 5-7, 2022. Please follow this link to see how you can be involved to elevate and celebrate Michigan’s law-related education community!

Please find more information on the current competition season here.

And if you want to volunteer to help us at this year’s competition to see what it’s all about, please Sign Up to Volunteer Online.

Mock Trial Companion Programs

Courtroom Artistry

Courtroom Journalism