Last week, students on Mira Loma’s Moot Court team made championship history.
The annual Moot Court competition is an appellate-level proceeding where high school students prepare and argue a fictional case before a three-judge panel. It officially began in 1979, and the 42nd annual Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Moot Court Competition was held last month.
This year, the High School attorneys were raising pressing legal questions in a virtual court. A fictional student in a fictional school district posted a controversial photo on social media. Was it wrong for a lower court to conclude that the school district hadn’t violated her First Amendment rights and freedoms by suspending her and banning her from student government?
The participants were evaluated based on the persuasiveness and the quality of their legal reasoning and presentation including their unscripted responses to spontaneous questions from the panel. This competition provided students with an opportunity to learn and explore conditional law to develop essential public speaking and debate skills.
Based on a series of initial competitions, the top 4 teams advanced to semifinals. During semifinals, the top 2 teams were selected to compete against each other at finals. This year, both teams advancing to finals were from Mira Loma.
Mira Loma Team 1 won the competition, placing first, and Mira Loma Team 2 placed second. Mira Loma Team 5 took fourth place. All teams, regardless of the results, dedicated a great deal of time and effort to ensure that they performed well at the competition. Lauren Goi-Yamamoto ‘24 shares her positive experience as a first-year competitor. She states, “As this was my first year on Moot Court, I initially went in without even knowing what moot court was. However, I soon found it to be a very fun experience that also taught me a lot about law and public speaking (even through Zoom).”
Several club coaches, who dedicated time and effort to coaching students, played a significant role in the students’ success. Among these are Ken Reynolds, Rebecca Reynolds, Jay Allen-Eisen, Dr. Valinda Frost, and Alicia Banning.
Hannah Lupse ‘22 shares, “I gotta thank my teammates for dealing with my constant nagging to practice all the time… [and] for my coaches, who spent so much of their time just discussing any questions I had… for my own teammates, who spent time questioning us even if they didn’t qualify to later rounds. This win is really a team effort.”
The following are the results of the tournament:
1st Place: Team 1
Hannah Lupse (Awarded Team Most Valuable Player, Awarded Outstanding Speaker)
2nd Place: Team 2
Skyla Hatton (Awarded Team Most Valuable Player, Awarded Outstanding Speaker)
4th Place: Team 5
Lauren Goi-Yamamoto (Awarded Team Most Valuable Player)
Kayli Huang (Awarded Team Most Valuable Player)
Aoife Zuckerman (Awarded Team Most Valuable Player, Awarded Outstanding Speaker)