Ukiah High School Wins County Mock Trial Competition


At the 35th annual Mendocino County Mock Trial competition on February 4, members of the Ukiah High School Mock Trial team edged out Laytonville High School to claim the Honorable Judge Ron Brown Memorial Perpetual Trophy. Ukiah High School students will represent Mendocino County at the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s (CRF) California Mock Trial Finals in Los Angeles March 17-19.Ukiah High Mock Trial Team

Sponsored by the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE), the Mendocino County Mock Trial competition gives high school students the opportunity to 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.

“Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this annual event. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to compete in mock trial,” Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Nicole Glentzer said. “Seeing these students in action is an excellent display of the work that's happening in schools today. Undoubtedly, these students are the future leaders of our county, our state, and our world.”

This year’s Mendocino County high schools teams are Laytonville High School and Ukiah High School. In addition, students from Fort Bragg Middle School and Three Rivers Charter School formed the Mendocino Coast Mock Trial team, the only middle school team in Northern California. Those students traveled to San Luis Obispo with Coach Michael Lang to compete in their county tournament, February 7- 9.

In a mock trial, student teams argue both sides of a fictitious case developed by the CRF. With the assistance of teacher and volunteer attorney coaches, students portray all key roles including attorneys, witnesses and courtroom staff in the fictitious case of People v. Franks. In the trial of Jordan Franks, a performer on a cruise ship’s production of Macbeth at Sea, Franks is charged with robbery, larceny, and battery causing serious bodily injury.

Mendocino County Mock Trial team members from Ukiah and Laytonville High School argued their case in front of practicing Mendocino County judges and a packed house of supporters. After both teams delivered compelling witness statements, incisive direct and cross examination, and passionate opening and closing arguments, Ukiah High School was declared this year’s Mendocino County winner by two panels of local attorney scorers.

2023 Mendocino County Mock Trial High School Participants:

Laytonville High Team

The Laytonville High School team (left), coached by Erin Lehman, includes the following students: Achsa Hill, Brigid Henry, Hailey Musgrave, Jackson Gamble, Karan Patel, Kylie Neuroth, Mariah Zaragoza, Matthew Posey, Rylee Doyle, and Savanna Athey.

The Ukiah High School team (top), coached by Matthew LaFever, includes the following students: Diego Fernandez, Elizabeth Lu, Eva Pintane, Hannah Todd, Helena Rooney, Isabel Van Sant, Jacob Kubin, Kaylie Reeser, Molly Kaluna-Jones, Noah Edelman, Owen Sangiacomo, Bode Gower, Madeline Armstrong, Essie Montano, Neilyn Alvarez-Rodriguez, Kobi Hasunuma, and Shanti Fernandez.

Attorneys Alexander Rich, Elina Agnoli and Luke Oakley assist teams. Volunteer judges that officiate and evaluate the competition include the Honorable Judges Anne Moorman, Cindee Mayfield, Keith Faulder, and Patrick Pekin. Volunteer attorney scorers included Alison Mannwieler, Charlotte Scott, Doug Rhoades, James Brusseau, Jonah Walsh, and Patricia Littlefield.

Mendocino Superior Court provided use of the Ukiah Superior Courthouse and a weekend security detail.

For more information about Mendocino County Mock Trial, visit