Adairsville had 12 students compete in the last regional competition -- which was held at the Bartow County courthouse in February -- placing second to WHS who went on to compete in the state competition in Lawrenceville this past weekend.
"The competition is done through the Young Lawyers division of the State Bar of Georgia and it's very in depth," said AHS mock trial head coach Kevin Busse. "We competed at the [Bartow County] courthouse where judges and attorneys from all over the region come and score our attorneys and witnesses on how well they do. You don't win [the competition] on whether you win or lose a case, it's strictly points the attorneys and witnesses get for learning their part and doing well with it."
Bryan McCoury, mock trial head coach for WHS, said the amount of student interest in continuing a mock trial team has kept the program alive. Busse echoed his statements for the AHS team.
"Because of the interest, I felt it was important to give students the opportunity to learn more about law and how our legal system works," Busse said.
According to the Georgia Mock Trial Competition case materials, "The mock trial activity has proven to be an effective and popular part of a comprehensive, law focused program designed to provide young people with an operational understanding of the law, legal issues and the judicial process."
Busse and McCoury explained there is a single, fictional case created and distributed to every high school in the state for mock trial teams to study. The individual school's mock trial team is divided into a prosecuting and defense team and the case consists of depositions by witnesses, the plaintiff and the accused.
This year's case was based on the plaintiff claiming his civil rights were violated after being fired based on posts [the plaintiff] made on a social networking site.
"[The students] really have to work hard to do this right," McCoury said. "They have to know the case inside and out."
Both Busse and McCoury's teams practice in front of judges and other volunteers in the field of law. They said students who participate in mock trial often go on to study law or pursue the field as a profession.
"The ones that dedicate themselves from the start, they find a great reward in that dedication," McCoury said
Adairsville High students at the regional competition received the following awards: Will Rivera was awarded two certificates for Outstanding Attorney for both rounds; Lee Castro was also awarded with Outstanding Attorney; Beau Witcher, Shane Harper and Kevin Garland were all awarded with Outstanding Witness.
Woodland High students at the state competition received the following awards: Wes Sherwin and Alex Henson were awarded Outstanding Performance; Amanda Horne was awarded Best Attorney; and Gina Taff and Kaylan Baker received Best Witness.