A student at Central Coast University on a track and field scholarship was facing a felony charge of murder for the homicide of a campus security guard. The student raised the affirmative defense of defense of another in order to claim the homicide was justifiable. This doesn’t make sense: “affirmative defense of defense of another…”
No, this is not an episode of “How to Get Away With Murder,” this is the 2015-2016 San Francisco County High School Mock Trial Competition.
As one of the Justice & Diversity Center’s (JDC) diversity pipeline programs, the San Francisco County Mock Trial Program targets underserved and underrepresented high school students at San Francisco’s public high schools, providing them an opportunity to develop critical life skills. The program currently includes nine teams from eight San Francisco public high schools and one after-school program.
The program is run entirely on donations and enabled by the passion and commitment of more than 80 volunteer attorney coaches, who range from Assistant U.S. Attorneys to law firm partners to solo and small firm attorneys.
Nadim Hegazi, Deputy District Attorney at Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and Marie Ma, Corporate Counsel and Director, Global Equity Administration at Gap Inc., have served as Mock Trial committee co-chairs since 2014.
The Mock Trial competition included a thrilling pre-trial motion, an energized trial, and four preliminary rounds.
More than 85 volunteer scorers and 20 volunteer presiding judges participated, including sitting judges from San Francisco Superior Court.
The championship round took place on February 18 at the federal court and was presided over by Judge William H. Orrick, where Lowell High School emerged as the 2016 champions.
Lowell’s team and their coaches (see list below) participated in state finals in Sacramento on March 18-22 along with second place team School of the Arts.
To see a list of competition volunteers and sponsors, visit www.sfbar.org/mock-trial.
Congratulations to Lowell Coaches
- Teresa Caffese, Law Office of Teresa Caffese
- Kelly Fair, Dentons US
- Lisa Hathaway, Attorney at Law
- Brandi Hannagan, Schuering, Zimmerman & Doyle
- Isaac Jackson, UC Hastings College of the Law
- Tanis Leuthold Kelly, Settlement Alliance-WEST
- Allen Kuo, Murphy, Pearson, Bradley, & Feeney
- Conor Kelly, Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
- Andrew McDevitt, Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
- Michael Ungar, Simmons & Ungar
- Tina Yim, Imai, Tadlock, Keeney & Corder