April 11, 2014 – The State Bar of Wisconsin National Mock Trial planning team is calling on attorneys, judges and experienced teachers and coaches from around the state to step up to the bench and volunteer to serve on a judging panel during the 2014 National High School Mock Trial Championship on May 9 and 10 in Madison.
Volunteer judges no longer need to worry about possessing a robust resume of mock trial experience; instead previous mock trial exposure is preferred, but not required. The national rules also allow for teachers and coaches “with substantial mock trial coaching or scoring experience” to act as scoring judges during the championship.
To successfully execute the championship, Mock Trial planners have said that 200 more judging panel seats must be filled. With 48 teams, four rounds and three judges in a courtroom, the championship needs several hundred judges just to function.
Judging Panel 411
Students will compete in four rounds over the course of two days in front of a panel of three volunteer judges who critique and score each round. One of the volunteers will act as the presiding judge, responsible for maintaining order, keeping the trial moving, ruling on evidentiary motions and overseeing all trial procedures. The presiding judge must be an attorney. The remaining volunteers will be scoring judges who evaluate the performances and complete score sheets.
The State Bar is in need of volunteer judges to fill the following time slots.
- Round 1: Friday, May 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Round 2: Friday, May 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Round 3: Saturday, May 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Round 4: Saturday, May 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Volunteers may opt to sign up for more than one round. All members of the judging panel are required to attend an orientation on Friday and Saturday prior to each round.
The rounds will take place at the Dane County Courthouse and the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Sign up today!
More than 1,000 participants from across the country, as well as Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and South Korea are expected to be in Madison for the championship. It’s been 20 years since the championship was in Wisconsin, so this is a unique opportunity for State Bar members and local mock trial gurus to get involved.
Judging panel volunteers must complete a sign up form at nationalmocktrial2014.wisbar.org before being assigned to a round. Round assignments will be distributed to volunteers shortly after signing up.