Help introduce the next generation of leaders to our system of justice
Every fall, thousands of teenagers across the country get ready to go to court, not because they have to, but because they want to. From September to April, these young people immerse themselves in the inner workings of the U.S. system of justice. After school, in the evenings, on weekends, learning rules of evidence and procedure, and confronting the complexity – in concrete cases – of some of our most challenging current issues.
All across the country, before real judges, the high school students try the cases they have been preparing. From opening statements through direct and cross examination of witnesses to closing arguments, they present each part of a legal case. Each school’s team has its own “attorneys” and “witnesses” and must be ready to present either side of the case before “juries” that score their performances. Trial by trial, the teams compete for the championship of their jurisdiction, vying for the opportunity to take on all the other winners at the national championship each May. In May 2014, they will be coming to Madison for a chance to claim the National Championship.
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Madison is a mid-size city of great natural beauty surrounded by four lakes, with a multitude of dining, shops, cultural and outdoor opportunities. It boasts the largest farmer's market in the Midwest, which is held on the Capitol Square each Saturday April - October. There are over 150 public parks in Madison with miles of bike trails, green space, a zoo and botanical garden. The average high temperature in May is 68, and the average low is 46.
Madison is named after President James Madison. The population is 240,000; the metro area is 568,500. It is home to the University of Wisconsin, with a student population of 41,000.
Madison is the capital of Wisconsin. The State Capitol has the 2nd tallest dome in the nation - second to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Wisconsin Capitol is topped by a bronze statue designed by Daniel Chester French. The first legislature was held at the Capitol in 1838. The state constitution is the oldest of any state west of the Allegheny Mountains (1848). The state motto is "Forward."
The Republican Party was founded in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.
When will the National Championship be held in 2014?
May 8-10, 2014 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Where will the Championship be held in May 2014?
The host site will be the Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club just off the square in downtown Madison. The Dane County Courthouse and Wisconsin State Capitol will be used for the tournament rounds. Additional rooms will be available at the Best Western Inn at the Park and Hilton Hotel, which are also within walking distance of all venues.
How do we register a team to compete in the National Championship?
All tournament registration forms must be completed online by April 11, 2014. All payments, including a $500 tournament registration fee per team, and fees for events, meals, and t-shirts must be received by April 18, 2014. Once the registration process has been completed and all fees received, a team is eligible to compete in the National Championship.
How is the "official team" determined at the National Tournament?
The Official Mock Trial Team is determined by the State Coordinator. Each "official team" includes six to eight student team members; one primary teacher coach; one primary attorney coach; and the State Mock Trial Coordinator (or his/her designee) for a total maximum of 11 members of the "Official" Team. (See Rule 3.2)
Will the "official team" receive free tickets to tournament events?
Yes. The Host Committee will provide up to 11 members of the official team with complimentary (FREE) passes to the Thursday evening Pin Exchange, Friday night event, lunches on Friday and Saturday, and the Saturday evening Awards Banquet and Gala. Other individuals may purchase tickets to those events on a first-come, first-served basis.
How can parents, observers and others purchase tickets to events?
Tickets to events may be purchased by observers and parents through the team's registration record online. All additional ticket purchases must be entered into the registration system by April 11 to reserve space. Tickets to all events must be pre-paid. Checks, cash or money orders are the only acceptable forms of payment. Checks should be made payable to The State Bar of Wisconsin/National Mock Trial Fund. A $25 fee will be charged for all returned checks. The State Coordinator for each state will be responsible for overseeing the registration process for their official team.
When and how will the National case materials be distributed for the 2014 Championship?
The case materials will be posted online at http://nationalmocktrial2014.wisbar.org on April 1, at 12:01 a.m. The host site director will email all State Coordinators notifying them that the case has been posted. State Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that the team from their state receives the information in a timely manner. Hard copies of the case materials are not available from the Host State.
Who judges the Championship?
Any attorney or judge that has previously judged a minimum of two rounds of mock trial is invited to participate as a judge. State Coordinators are encouraged to invite qualified persons from their state to attend the National Championship as judging panel members. The Judge Volunteer Form is available on the web site. All information regarding judging including case materials, rules, and tournament information will be distributed to judges online. Communication with judging panel members will be via email. Judges will be provided with hard copies of the Case Materials, Rules of Evidence, Rules of the Competition, and Judging Guidelines at the Championship. An orientation for all judges will be provided prior to each round of the Championship.
When will we get our scoresheets?
Scoresheets will be available for pick-up by the State Coordinator or his/her designee from 8-10 a.m. on Sunday, May 11, at the Registration Desk on the second floor of the Concourse Hotel. Per the National Board's policy, the scoresheets will be locked away after the final round and will not be distributed to anyone, regardless of the reason, until Sunday morning. The State Coordinator, or his/her designee, is the ONLY person who may pick up scoresheets on Sunday morning. If the State Coordinator or designee is unavailable, the team's scoresheets will be mailed to the State Coordinator. THIS PROCEDURE WILL NOT BE AMENDED FOR ANY REASON.
Who is responsible for communicating with the National Host Site Director?
Each State Coordinator (or their designee) is responsible for submitting inquiries regarding case materials or other tournament information from the state team to the Host Director. Teams should filter ALL inquiries through their State Coordinator or their designee to ensure there is a single point of contact for each state.
What can we do in Madison?
Madison has a wonderful array of shopping, restaurants, outdoor activities, and attractions that appeal to visitors of all ages. State Street, which is one block from the hotel, is closed to cars and provides a variety of dining and shopping options. View the online Madison Visitor's Guide or order your free copy at this link: http://www.visitmadison.com/plan/request-information/.
Are there other great areas in Wisconsin to visit?
YES!! The "Waterpark Capital of the World" is 45 minutes away. There are beautiful state parks with hiking, kayaking, mountain bike trails and camping all within 45 minutes of Madison. Circus World, now a museum of the American Circus, was once the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers, and Taliesin, home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright, is less than an hour away. For a very unusual day, visit the nearby House on the Rock, Cave of the Mounds, or Mustard Museum.