Classroom Guide to Mock Trials (2021 Edition)

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Posted:
06/30/2021
Updated:
08/02/2021

This 11-lesson-plan guide supports teachers in implementing mock trials in their classrooms. The lessons help set the stage for a successful mock trial experience—from voir dire to closing arguments to evaluation tools.

The following resources are included in this .PDF guide (each lesson is also available as a single download using the links below):


Recommended mock trials for the classroom:

Simple Mock Trials

  • People v. Taylor (Criminal Law: Assault and Battery): While at a club, a fight ensues and the defendant hits another club-goer. The defendant claims he acted in self-defense.
  • Brown v. Jones (Landlord Tenant: Failure to Pay): A landlord sues a tenant for nonpayment of rent. In defense, the tenant claims the landlord failed to make needed repairs.

Moderate Mock Trials

  • Hudson v. Daily Metropolis (Constitutional Law: Motion to compel a reporter to produce information despite reporter’s privilege): When a story runs on a parental kidnapping, the father fears his ex-wife is the unnamed mother featured in the news story. He seeks the assistance of the court to order a reporter to reveal the source of the story.
  • Vickers v. Hearst (Tort Law: Third Party Host Liability): The host of a party is sued for damages resulting from a car accident caused by one of the guests. The victim of the accident claims that the host acted negligently by serving alcoholic beverages to the driver at fault.

Challenging Mock Trials (developed by the Georgetown Street Law Program)

  • New Columbia v. Chris Archer (First Degree Murder and Criminal Hazing): A college student is charged with first degree murder and criminal hazing after a prospective member of a fraternity falls to her death with a blood alcohol level of .10.
  • Walker v. Brewster (Tort Law: Negligent Storage of a Handgun): A 12-year-old steals his mother’s boyfriend’s gun and then accidentally shoots his 5-year-old stepbrother who is paralyzed as a result of the incident. The mother is sued for negligent storage of a firearm and negligent supervision of the minor child responsible for bringing the gun into the home. 

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