Four San Bernardino County Mock Trial teams qualify for semifinals

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Los Osos, Oak Hills, Rancho Cucamonga and Redlands high schools have advanced to the semifinals of the 38th annual San Bernardino County Mock Trial competition. The semifinals for the competition will be held on Jan. 15-16 – beginning at 5 p.m. – at the San Bernardino Justice Center (247 W. Third St.).       

In the semifinals, Los Osos (Gold) from the Chaffey Joint Union High School District will take on Redlands of Redlands Unified. In the other semifinal, Rancho Cucamonga (Purple), also from the Chaffey district, faces Oak Hills (White) of Hesperia Unified. During the semifinals, the teams will compete as both the prosecution and defense over the two days of competition.       

The top two teams from each semifinal match advance to the county Mock Trial finals, which are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Jan. 18 and will be held at the Foothill Law and Justice Center in Rancho Cucamonga.       

Redlands High has made the finals in each year since 2010 and is seeking its record 16th county title. Los Osos (Gold) has qualified for the semifinals for five consecutive years. Oak Hills (White) and Rancho Cucamonga (Purple) are both making their first appearances in the semifinals.       

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The Mock Trial competition simulates a criminal case where students portray the principal courtroom characters on both the prosecution and defense sides of a case before a real judge. This year’s case is People v. Matsumoto, a murder case. There were 32 county teams that competed in four preliminary rounds that ended on Dec. 4.       

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office are co-sponsors of the competition. The winner of the county competition advances to the state finals in March.

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