Mock Trial

Sample Cases

The internet is terrific resource for free mock trials scripts for all grade levels.

Elementary Mock Trial scripts often involve putting well known fairy tale characters, such as Goldilocks vs. Three Bears, State vs., Beane (the giant killer), or the Wicked Witch vs, Snow-white, on trial. Most mock trials are available free of charge or a nominal cost.

MCCE Recommends:

The Maine Bar Association has free downloadable elementary scripts at http://www.mainebar.org/images/mocktrials/mocktrials.html

MCCE has conducted the Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament since 1982. We are happy to provide these cases from the first 9 years of the tournament which were originally compiled for Michigan High School Mock Trial Manual with support from the Michigan State Bar Foundation. Except for People v. Stevens, the case materials were originally written by Professor Alan Salzman, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, with support from MCCE.

General Introduction to Cases (PDF, 1.4 MB)

City of Rockville v. Jones (PDF, 6.8 MB) - ordinance violation / First Amendment
People v McGrew (PDF, 4.3 MB) - murder, self-defense
People v Beck (PDF, 3.3 MB) - unlawfully taking an auto
People v Jackson (PDF, 2.2 MB) - shoplifting
People v Stevens (PDF, 2.6 MB) - assault with a deadly weapon; self defense
People v Green (PDF, 3.3 MB) - assault with a deadly weapon; self defense
Miles v Washington (PDF, 16.2 MB) - civil rights; First Amendment
Roman v Colby (PDF, 9.6 MB) - civil rights; unreasonable search
Martin v Big Burger (PDF, 4.1 MB) - wrongful discharge from employment

Previous MCCE High School Mock Trial Tournament Cases

1983 - State of Michigan vs Brad Stevens
Did Brad Stevens attack Martin Mann with a stick over a game of "Frogger" in the video arcade, or was it self defense?

1984 - People of the State of Michigan vs. Chris Beck
A car is involved in an accident that had just been reported stolen. The occupants ran from the car. Police officer arrests a suspect. All statements from witnesses are included, as well as pertinent case law.

1985 - Martin vs. Big Burger
An individual working at a fast food restaurant gets into an argument with a customer. As a result of the employee's attitude, the employee is fired and is therefore, seeking damages or reinstatement.

1986 - People vs. Sloan Jackson
A student is accused of shoplifting a shirt from Merchandise Mal

1987 - People of the State of Michigan v. Tony C. Jones
Rock Day concert and a parade were scheduled without authorization from City Council. Two diverse groups were formed; demonstrators and observers, and problems ensued. The police arrested demonstrators when they refused to disburse.

1988 - People v. Dannie D. McGrew
A person in a bar is killed by the bartender who claims self-defense.

1989 - Pat Roman vs. Dana M. Colby & Terry Wordshaw
A student's possessions are searched in a classroom based on suspicion of theft of a plaque.

1990 - People v. Paul and Paula Noonan
A parent allegedly slams his/her son/daughter into a kitchen cupboard. As a result of this the child sustains a laceration on the head and seeks medical attention. The parent is charged with child abuse.

1991 - Nicky C. Miles v. Chris M. Washington
A high school student is banned from wearing an anti-abortion button to school. The student seeks an injunction ordering the school district to permit the student to wear the button.

1992 - People v. Pat Green
A high school student is charged, in the alternative, with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do serious bodily harm less than murder, assault with a gun or other dangerous weapons.

1993 - Pat Bruno vs. Tuebor School District
Plaintiff Pat Bruno, a teacher employed by Tuebor School District, alleges that his/her employment was wrongfully terminated because he/she is homosexual and that termination is a) in violation of plaintiff's contractual right to be discharged only for reasonable and just cause, and b) in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as the equivalent provisions in the Michigan Constitution (Section 2 and 17)

1994 - People of the State of Michigan v. Shelby London
A high school teacher who has been fired alleges wrongful termination of employment because of sexual orientation.

1995 - Terry Smith, Guardian of Lee Barker v. Kim Barker and Jean Barker
The spouse, Terry Smith, of a legally incapacitated person, Lee Barker, files a petition to remove the gastrostomy tube on which Lee Barker is dependent for nutrition, which would thus end Lee Barker's life. Lee's sibling and parent oppose the petition of Lee's spouse.

1996 - People of the State of Michigan vs. Morgan Thompson
The defendant was booked for DUIL Homicide and Negligent Homicide for hitting a bicycle rider with an automobile, driving under the influence of marijuana. Defendant claims that the bike rider hit his fender. He also claims that his friend, who smokes marijuana, borrowed his car earlier. He further claims that he doesn't smoke marijuana. The police officer claims to have smelled marijuana on the defendant's breath and fingers and submitted evidence of a marijuana cigarette that was found in the car.

1997 - Scott Walker vs. Tanya Brewster
This case deals with the negligent storage of a handgun and supervision of a minor. Scott and Claudia Walker have two children, a daughter and a five-year old boy, Jesse; Scott has a son, T.J. Brewster, from a previous marriage. T.J. "borrowed" a gun from his stepfather before visiting the home of the Walkers. The children were left alone win the house and a bullet from the gun permanently paralyzed Jesse. Scott Walker claims that T.J.'s mother's negligence in the supervision of T.J. is responsible for his son's injury.

1998 - In the Matter of Alice Berkley
The burden of proof is on the Petitioner, the State of Michigan, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: 1. That respondent, 16 year-old Alice, is repeatedly disobedient to the reasonable and lawful commands of her parent; and, 2. That confinement in a secure institution is necessary for the well being of respondent and her unborn child. If the jury finds that the Petitioner proves this, the court will determine th place of confinement. It will be an institution from which she would not be free to leave unaccompanied and where she would not have access to alcohol. She will be able to complete her final semester of high school while so confined.

1999 - State of Michigan vs. Pat Green
The case is a criminal jury trial involving an 18 year old defendant who pleads self-defense after shooting the leg of another 18 year old armed with a baseball bat.

2000 - United States of America vs. Dorian Lowe
In this case, a high school student is charged with possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with intent to distribute after an e-mail message is intercepted by the student's school principal. The defendant files a motion in Federal Court to suppress this evidence, claiming that the search was not only unreasonable but also violated the defendant's expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.(Case developed by Ohio Center for LRE, 97-98)

2001 - Jamie R. Killian v. R.A.G.E. Enterprises & Chris Schultz
It was a pleasant day in March, getting close to spring break, and Jamie Killian was looking for fun. Fun for a 17-year-old comes in many forms movies, the beach, bowling, or just hanging out with friends in front of the local Seven-Eleven. Jamie did not choose to do any of these. Jamie chose to play paintball. Now Jamie has a closed head injury. Did paintball proprietor Chris Schultz engage in negligent conduct that made the game unreasonably dangerous? Did Jamie ignore posted safety instructions? Who is to blame? (With permission from Iowa Mock Trial Program 97-98)

2002 - People vs. Brunetti
It was the dawn of another day in the sleepy hamlet of Lakeville. All around town commuters were filling their travel mugs, while children readied their backpacks for school. But there would be no school for Nicky Blanc or Jackie Potomski. Both lay dead on the basketball courts at Founders Park. The rifle found in Nicky's hands belonged to Shawn Burnett. Shawn's fingerprints were all over the gun and the bullets and Shawn had a long-standing feud with Jackie. Did Nicky single-handedly plan and carry out the murder of Jackie Potomski? Or, was Shawn Burnett the mastermind, manipulating Nicky to do the dirty work? (Adapted from Constitutional Rts. Foundation-LA)

2003 - In the Matter of Shelby Withers vs. Clearwater School District
As today's high school students are well aware, violence and threats of violence in schools are no longer treated lightly. Nationally, students have found themselves suspended or expelled for infractions as benign as bringing a butter knife to school, or pointing a fun-shaped chicken strip at someone during lunch. But what if the threat came from a student with a disability? This year's case deals with a student whose disability may have manifested itself in the form of behavior that is arguably dangerous to others. Under the amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, added in 1997, procedures were established for schools seeking to discipline and remove a student with exceptional education needs (EEN) from this or her current educational placement or program. (Adapted from the State Bar of Wisconsin)

2004 - People v. Chris Biggs
All Chuck Sherman wanted to do was join the marching band's drum line. Since grade school, his favorite part of any parade or halftime show was the beat of the drums. In the summer of 2003, Chuck went to band camp on a mission... a mission to be accepted onto the line, and to enjoy all of the benefits of the increased social status that came with it. But Chuck didn't end up on the drum line. Chuck didn't even end up in the band. Chuck ended up dead after a fall from a 26-foot clock tower.  Was Chuck's death the result of illegal hazing committed by Chris Biggs, the section leader for the drum line, or was it the result of Chuck's under-age drinking? (Case adapted from Street Law)

2005 - Mable vs. Clearwater Sheep and Cattle Company
Runoff from farms and cities – non-point pollution – is the state of Superior's greatest cause of water quality problems, degrading or threatening about 40 percent of the fictional State's streams, about 90 percent of its inland lakes, many Great Lakes harbors and coastal waters, and substantial groundwater and wetland areas. Under normal circumstances, non-point pollution is a serious problem, but at times, the problem can be exacerbated and can result in tragic consequences.

A group of Clearwater High School students hiked to a spot on Murphy Creek. At the entrance to the trail, a sign put up by the county read, "Swim at your own risk." The students went in the water anyway. A few days later three of the students became ill. William Mable, one of the students, died. Was the Clearwater Sheep and Cattle Company responsible for William's death? (Adapted from 2001 Wisconsin Case)

2006 - United States of America v. Jamie Becker and Kim Hanks
In the not-too-distant past, counterfeiting was a difficult and expensive endeavor. It required large printing presses and the ability to cut intricate designs by hand into metal plates. Today it is much easier to create counterfeit bills. As thousands of teenagers discover every year, you can create fake money with a PC, a scanner and a color inkjet printer in about 10 minutes. You can also face very serious consequences.

Kerry Upham, owner of The Record Store in Clearwater, discovered two counterfeit $20 Bills in the store's deposits last March. Fearing a larger problem, Upham had all employees educated on methods to detect counterfeit bills. It wasn't long before another counterfeit $20 bill was discovered; only this time the culprits were caught in the act. Or were they? (Adapted from Idaho Law Foundation mock trial case United States of America v. Kris Hamburg)

2007 - Brooks v. Lawrence and the Clearwater Police Department
Evan Brooks, a 19-year-old honors student at Clearwater High School, went shopping at the local grocery late one night. So late, in fact, that Brooks had to be asked to finish shopping so that the store could close. A heated exchange with store security led to a scuffle and Brooks' arrest.

What followed for Evan Brooks was almost six hours in police custody being searched, fingerprinted, and escorted to the courthouse in shackles. After being release, Brooks spent an additional three to four hours in the hospital for pain and injuries sustained during the incident. Criminal charges were dropped in exchange for Brooks' agreement to do community service. Now Brooks is bringing a civil suit against the security guard, the store, and the police. Were the actions of the security guard, the store, and the police justifiable? (Adapted from Street Law, Inc: Brooks V. Lawrence & Metro City)

2008 - The People of the United States v. Morgan Phillips
Mitch Stevens was a basketball referee. Several controversial calls during the big game between in-town rivals made Mitch a very unpopular man with the fans of the losing team. Morgan Phillips, head basketball booster, was seen arguing with Mitch after the game. Later that night, Mitch Stevens was found dead outside of his apartment building. Phillips' gun was found at the crime scene.

According to some sources, Mitch Stevens was also a gambler, deeply in debt to the local organized crime family and open to fixing games as a way to settle his accounts. His last big gamble may have involved a double-cross with Mitch betting heavily on the team chosen to lose, while making calls to ensure that the "wrong" team won.

Morgan Phillips is charged with the murder of Mitch Stevens. Did Phillips do it, or was it all a mob setup? (Adapted from the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis case The State of Missouri v. Morgan Phillips.)

2009 - Young v. Gardner
High School student Riley Gardner crashed a car into a telephone pole early one Saturday morning with three schoolmates as passengers. Front-seat-passenger Sidney Young was seriously injured. Since the accident, Sidney has experienced debilitating head and backaches along with repeated procedures to rebuild a crushed leg and foot. Sidney faces years of dependence upon others for assistance, and doubts about a future career.

One of the passengers in the backseat claims that Riley was "texting" while driving. All four had just come from a party where alcohol was available, but Riley denies having had anything to drink and denies texting at the time of the accident. Sidney has filed a civil suit against Riley seeking compensatory damages. Are Sidney's injuries the result of Riley's negligence, or did other factors contribute? (Adapted from the Young Lawyer's Division of the Tennessee Bar Association mock trial case Sidney Young v. Riley Gardner.

2010 - People v. Alex Johnson
Pat Harding and Alex Johnson were high school seniors with promising futures. Both stood out among their peers, receiving academic and athletic honors. Seeming to thrive in a highly competitive, high-pressure, honors program at school, Pat and Alex saw much-coveted scholarships to prestigious universities within their grasps.

Whether it was due to the pressure to succeed, or just serious flaws of character, Pat and Alex chose to take a shortcut at the very end of their high school careers, cheating on a final exam. The scholarships, the admiration from their parents and classmates, all seemed to be worth the risk of violating the school's stringent rules against cheating. But was it worth the life of classmate Anne Spitzer? Anne, an avid rock climber, catches Pat and Alex in the act of cheating and gives the pair one chance to turn themselves in before she does it for them. A few days later, Anne's dead body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Did Alex Johnson murder Anne Spitzer? (Adapted from the Rhode Island Legal/Education Partnership State of Rhode Island v. Brit Reynolds, the 2007 adaptation of the Idaho Law Foundation's 2005 case, State of Idaho v. Brit Reynolds, an adaptation of the Constitutional Rights Foundation's 2002 original case, People v. Martin.

2011 - Jaime Anderson vs. Taylor Williams
The plaintiff is Jamie Anderson, a high school senior, who used the school's chat room as a means to stay on top of her/his academic pursuit of the highly coveted valedictorian scholarship. Jamie was tied with defendant Taylor Williams for top spot in the class until her/his concentration was allegedly destroyed after receiving threatening communications from a cyberstalker. Jamie contends that these communications resulted in severe emotional distress, resulting in lower grades and loss of the valedictorian scholarship. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant was the person who sent the threatening remarks. William's actions, according to Anderson, violated the state's civil cyberstalking statute. (Adapted from a case used by Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Illinois)

2012 - People of the State of New Michigan v Thomas D. Osiski
Was it murder, suicide, or something else? Martin Louis Siriusz was found slumped over his piano listening to a playback of his latest (and as it turned out, his last) recording, entitled "Hanging at Death's Door." [A copy of the recording is available as evidence] (MP3) The people of the State of New Michigan have charged Thomas "Duke" Osiski, Siriusz's former bandmate, with murder. The people allege that Osiski was furious over Siriusz's eleventh-hour decision to cancel a reunion tour that would have provided Osiski with much-needed financial relief.

Osiski denies shooting his long-time friend, contending that he went to the recording studio in an attempt to persuade Siriusz to reconsider his decision, but when he entered the room, he found Siriusz slumped forward on the piano with the "Death's Door" soundtrack still playing. Seeing a bottle of alcohol and an open bottle of pills on the piano, Osiski assumed that Siriusz had accidentally OD'd. Feeling no pulse, Osiski ran out of the studio and out to the back patio, where he saw Siriusz's 23-year-old son standing naked in the shallow end of the pool cleaning off with a bar of soap. (Adapted from case drafted by the Hon. Thomas P. Franczyk, Judge, Erie County Court in Buffalo, NY for use in the 2010 Buffalo Niagara Trial Competition held in Buffalo, NY).

2013 - Phoenix Perdante v Dalton Academy
The plaintiff, a member of an up-and-coming high-school mock-trial team, alleges that the defendant, a rival school, made defamatory statements about the plaintiff in the defendant's online newspaper. In the article, the deputy student editor of the school's magazine alleged that the plaintiff appeared to be texting his/her coach during the final round of the competition. According to the article, the plaintiff's closing argument was unusually effective, and a review of the score sheets shows that the closing argument made the difference. The defendant has denied the allegations and is asserting that the newspaper article is true. As a result of the claimed cheating, the plaintiff lost a scholarship with a prestigious university. (Adapted from case drafted by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation for their 2011-2012 High School Mock Trial Tournament)

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Mock Trial

A Mock Trial is 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.

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