This weekend, students from nine area high schools competed for the Region 11 title during the annual mock trial competition at the State Court of Cobb County.
“These kids are extraordinary young people,” said Judge Toby Prodgers, who has been on the state court bench for 18 years and has coordinated the regional competition since it started in 2003.
Although the students may not be athletes, Prodgers said they want to compete in a team environment for their school.
At Saturday’s competition, each high school brought two squads, one for the prosecution and one for the defense.
Each squad had three attorneys and three witness, all of whom are high school students.
Some of the students do want to pursue a legal profession, but “some of them aren’t sure and just want to test the waters,” Prodgers said.
For the students who fill the witness roles, it is more of an extracurricular activity like drama club.
“They know they have to put forward a certain personality,” Prodgers said.
Each year, the students either try a criminal or a civil case.
This year was a criminal case involving a loan shark who fell from the top floor of a parking deck. The trial determined if a defendant was responsible for the loan shark’s death.
Prodgers said 50 to 60 local attorneys and judges volunteered their time for the annual competition.
“Just watching those young people perform is extraordinary,” said Prodgers, who spends much of his free time with his wife Cynde, and their twin 19-month-old grandsons.
A judge ruled over the case, and a few attorneys sat in each courtroom as jurors tallied the scores.
Score were based on how well the students respond to objections and adverse rulings, as well as “how persuasive they make their particular case,” Prodgers said.
The local competition started with a couple of rounds in the morning and stretched to the final showdown between the two finalists in the afternoon.
The winner of Saturday’s 2014 Cobb County Regional high school mock trial was The Walker School. Second place went to Mt. Paran Christian School. Sprayberry High school won third place.
The winners of the Cobb competition and a similar Douglas competition will meet Feb. 22 at the Cobb State Court for the district competition. The state competition is in Lawrenceville in March.
* Fulton Science Academy High School
* Harrison High School
* Kennesaw Mountain High School
* Mt. Paran Christian School
* North Atlanta High School
* North Cobb Christian School
* South Cobb High School
* Sprayberry High School
* The Walker School