Mock Trial Club

Joe Green, Staff Writer

Mock Trial Club is a club where students recreate a court trial. Its purpose is to familiarize students with the procedures in a court case and the people involved such as the witnesses and the attorneys. 


The students come up with strategies to out-debate the other team. Greta von Bernuth is a Spanish Teacher at Erie High School, but she is also the mock trial coach. 


Von Bernuth started the club, ‘several years ago’, when a student approached her, asking her to start a club that the student had done at a summer camp. Von Bernuth said, “I would be happy to,” despite the fact that she did not, “know anything about trials or the legal system.” 


Greta Von Bernuth managed to find two attorneys, with some help from Matt Buchler, the Principal of Erie Highschool. These attorneys helped to give the club more insight into the law side of things. The attorneys came from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, and were willing to be coaches in the club.


“I was fascinated because I learned a lot about the legal system and about argumentation in the legal setting,” said Von Bernuth, “[They are] super helpful in helping us understand and analyze and put together arguments.”


Mock Trial Club takes place on Thursdays at 3:00 PM, until November. Then the club will start meeting at 6:00 PM on a day of the week that has not been determined yet. November 1 is when “actual cases are available.” These cases are sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association. 


Von Bernuth says, “The Colorado Bar puts out a fake situation… some crime has been committed, and then they put out a witness statement so the witnesses will say they saw ‘this’ happen. Everyone has the same information.” This makes students from schools competing be able to prepare for a debate ahead of time.

Von Bernuth adds that, “If anybody is interested, they can certainly still join.”