School District 11 is proud to announce that students from Palmer High School’s Mock Trial Team took first in state, defeating a team from Denver’s Colorado Academy, in the championship round on Saturday night at the Colorado Bar Association State Mock Trial Tournament. This is the fifth time in the last six years that Palmer has been a finalist in the state tournament; Palmer was State Champion in 2009. Palmer’s very talented, hard-working team members are: Trevor Bills, Kate Henjum, Bea Zimmermann, Vincent Villarreal, William Weaver, Tanner Howard, Guillermo Rodriguez, and Josh Dostal. Palmer’s team will now advance to the National Mock Trial Championship, which will take place May 9 – 11, 2013, in Indianapolis. There, they will argue a new case and compete with more than 1,000 students from the United States, U.S. territories, and South Korea.
Twenty-four teams traveled from across the state to the Larimer County Justice Center for the annual state competition, held on March 8 and 9. Each team studied the same fictitious criminal murder case, where a police officer is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend, but he claims she came at him with a gun drawn and it went off as they struggled. In each round, students had to be ready to perform either the prosecution or defense side of the case. They were scored by real attorneys and judges.
These students have been preparing for the tournament since September. Most teams participate in mock trial as an extracurricular activity run by teacher and attorney volunteers. This year, 104 teams from around the state competed in the program. The final 24 teams were top placers in eight regional tournaments held around the state in February.