The Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) introduced the Mock Trial Program to California counties in 1980. Students participate in a simulated trial that is set up and structured just like a real court and learn about the roles that judges, lawyers, witnesses, and others play in our judicial system. Each year, CRF produces a new set of Mock Trial materials based on an important issue facing America's youth. The materials include a hypothetical criminal case, lesson plans, and competition rules and guidelines.
In California, the program engages over 8,000 students and participants each year with the help of teacher-sponsors and attorney-coaches, and thousands of members from the state’s bar and bench who volunteer their time to make Mock Trial an exciting educational experience for the students.
The Riverside County competition typically involves six to seven rounds of trials in which an estimated 1,000 students, parents, teachers, coaches, attorneys, and judges participate. Winners of the county competitions go on to the state finals in March, with the winner of the state competition representing California at the annual National High School Mock Trial Competition in May. The national competition involves teams from 54 states and territories.