The Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial team defeated Wyoming Seminary Prep from Pennsylvania Monday morning to capture the Empire World Invitational Championship—considered the most prestigious high school mock trial invitational tournament held at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in New York.
The Dos Pueblos team, who had lost a narrow 4-3 decision in the 2012 Empire Finals and had finished fourth in 2013, were led by senior captains Maggie Miller and Nina Downey. Miller was named one of the tournament’s most outstanding attorneys; Downey was named most outstanding witness.
Dos Pueblos blitzed to the final round earning 11 out of 12 possible ballots in their four rounds before the finals.
The team and coaches will arrive back in Santa Barbara tonight at 9:30 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Airport.
The Dos Pueblos team had worked since mid-July on the case, a civil rights action. In the fictional case, a white police officer shoots an unarmed black teenager. The plaintiffs are the parents of the young boy who is shot; they allege that the police department has a policy and practice of police violence, and that those policies and practices were the cause of their son’s life-threatening injuries. The defendant police department alleges that the officer shot in self-defense when the boy reached for some shiny object at his waist. (It turned out to be a cell phone.)
The Dos Pueblos team was assisted in their preparations by members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department to understand the collection and analysis of forensic evidence and the way peace officers are trained in the use of firearms. Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez met with the student who portrayed the fictional police chief on the witness stand in New York. Santa Barbara judges and court personnel donated their time and facilities to help the team practice. We live in a special town that supports our youth.
The Empire Dos Pueblos Mock Trial team includes students Nina Downey and Maggie Miller, captains; Mario Aguirre, Ryan Daniel, Cindy Diaz, Nina Downey, Rebecca Embar, Alexandra Gonzalez Edgar, Aidan Haggerty, Jenny Jang, Natasha Lethaby, Lola Macy, Jennie Rezek, Jenny Rothman, Michael Wallis and Shaoni White.
Kelly Savio is the teacher coach. The attorney coaches are Deedrea Edgar, Joel Block and Maureen Grattan.