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TCSOS hosts Fifth Annual Tuolumne County Mock Trial Competition

Jan 31, 2023

Sonora, CA—The Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office hosted the fifth annual Tuolumne County Mock Trial Competition on January 18 & 25, 2023.

The Mock Trial program features high school students arguing a fictional case created by the Constitutional Rights Foundation as either the prosecution or defense team. Students serve as attorneys, witnesses, a bailiff, and a clerk. Tuolumne County Judges preside over the case, and local attorneys are the scorers. This year’s case was People v. Franks, the trial of Jordan Franks, a young actor who finished a run of performances of the Shakespeare adaptation Macbeth at Sea on the cruise ship Heart of the Ocean. Franks is charged with robbery and battery of Franks’ fellow actor, Billie Scher.

The Mock Trial program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society.

Three high schools competed in this year’s event. Sonora High School, Summerville High School, and Tioga High School.

  • Sonora High School is coached by teacher Pete Smith. Attorney coaches are: Doug Boyack, Hallie Gorman Campbell, Scott Gross, Kate Christie, and Cassandra Jenecke.
  • Summerville High School is coached by teacher Shane Patey. Attorney coaches are: Brad Young, Stephanie Novelli, Jennifer Lothert, and Melissa Knobloch.
  • Tioga High School is coached by teacher Emily Hanchett and Attorney Alison Minet Adams.

Presiding judges were the Honorable Kate Powell Segerstrom, the Honorable Donald Segerstrom, and the Honorable Laura Krieg.

Scoring attorneys were: Samantha Arnerich, Dana Gross, Eric Hovatter, Clint Parish, Christopher Schmidt, Carrie McKernan, Sabrina Creekmore, and Maria Sullivan

We also received support and assistance from Deputy District Attorney Samantha Arnerich and the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office. Court Executive Officer Hector Gonzalez and bailiffs from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.

Details of the 2023 Mock Trail

WHEN: Wednesday, January 18 & 25, 2023

WHERE: Tuolumne County Superior Court

Results from this year’s competition:

  • Trial 1, January 18, 2023
    Prosecution—Tioga High School (winner)
    Defense—Sonora High School
  • Trial 2, January 25, 2023
    Prosecution—Summerville High School (winner)
    Defense—Tioga High School
  • Trial 3, January 25, 2023
    Prosecution—Sonora High School
    Defense—Summerville High School (winner)

The Tuolumne County winning team is Summerville High School. They will receive the perpetual plaque and will advance to the state competition, which will be held March 17-19, 2023 in Los Angeles.

We also had wonderful submissions from artists and a journalist.

Journalist winner: Audrey Patey from Summerville High School
Artist winner: Natalie Harris from Summerville High School, Second Place: Evan Hawks from Sonora High School

For more information about the Sonora High School Mock Trial Program, contact: Pete Smith at: For more information about the Summerville High School Mock Trial program, contact: Shane Patey at: For more information about the Tioga High School Mock Trial Program, contact Emily Hanchett at:

The Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office wishes to thank the Judges and Attorneys for volunteering their time and sharing their expertise to help make this event successful.

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