Students spar in mock trials

The annual San Luis Obispo County mock trial competition began Saturday with high school and middle school teams participating.

Mock trial simulates real court proceedings, designed to help students gain knowledge of the judicial system, develop analytical and communication skills and learn leadership, teamwork and cooperation skills.

Teams competing this year include Arroyo Grande, Coast Union, Nipomo, North County Christian, Pacific Beach, San Luis Obispo and Templeton high schools.

The winner of the local high school competition will participate in a state competition in San Jose in March. Templeton High School won the competition last year.

Middle and junior high school teams include Atascadero, Judkins, Mesa, Old Mission, Paulding and Templeton schools. The middle school students don’t have a state competition. Judkins Middle School in Pismo Beach won in 2009.

The San Luis Obispo court contests are judged by local attorneys, artists and journalists.

— Nick Wilson