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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Mock Trials

It’s hard to get and keep the attention of a class of fourth graders. Judge Tierra Jones and Judge Eric Johnson kept the attention of two fourth grade classes from Grant M. Bowler Elementary School in Logandale, NV and taught them some valuable lessons on the justice system when they put on a mock trial in District Court. The mini legal eagles got into their roles as judges, jurors, attorneys, witnesses and marshals in a trial to determine if legendary wizard Harry Potter was guilty of the misuse of magic. After hearing the testimony with built in hints on how courts work, the fourth grader found Potter not-guilty. The students peered into the holding cell which gave them a stark view of what happens to those who get caught in the justice system.

Two more classes from Grant M. Bowler will visit the court on Friday, Nov. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.  Judge Kerry Earley in courtroom 12D  and Judge Adrianna Escobar will host the mock trials.

The mock trials are a cooperative effort between the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court, nonprofit agency Project REAL and the school. In preparation for the student mock trials, Project REAL provides teachers lessons to convey the roles and processes of a criminal trial. The students get an immersive, real-world learning experience, with the benefit of Project Real classroom lessons to set the stage for better understanding. The students embark on their journey through the justice system with the legal terms and other information provided in the classroom sessions.

District Court Judge Doug Herndon envisioned the mock trial program. He wrote the script involving Harry Potter to provide a fun and interesting method for young students to learn about the justice system. The activities promote the importance of education, highlight potential legal careers and demonstrate the outcome of bad choices.

Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2005 by Sam Lionel and Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching K-12th grade Nevada students the importance of the law. They have taught over 160,000 Nevada students about the importance of the law with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through their programs Your Day in Court, Play By the Rules, REAL Drama, and Independence & You. For more information from Project REAL, please contact Program Director Mike Kamer at mkamer@projectrealnv.org, call 702.703.6529, or visit http://projectrealnv.org.

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Goldilocks has landed in court several times on charges surrounding what appears to be her penchant for breaking into bears homes and stealing porridge. This time, a jury of her peers wasn’t charmed by her innocent smile or persuaded by her creative excuses. They found her guilty of trespassing and theft in a mock trial in Judge Linda Marquis’ courtroom at the Family Division of District Court. It was part of the Take Your Kids to Work Day events open to students who wanted to participate. Three junior judges sentenced the fairy-tale sweetheart to a one-month grounding with no electronic devices. Judge Marquis, the Public defenders Office, the District Attorney’s Office and attorneys took part in the mock trial to teach children about the justice system.

 

 

 

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Four third grade classes will try Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf during two days of mock trials before District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti on May 10 at noon and 1 p.m., and May 11 at noon and 1 p.m. in courtroom 10C at the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave.

Big Bad Wolf is scheduled to testify in the case on how his legendary bluster allegedly got out of hand. Goldilocks, charged with breaking and entering and robbery, will also take the stand in her own defense, sporting her trademark golden curls. The third graders from Las Vegas Day School, will wear costumes, act out roles and make their case in a real courtroom.

The court has been involved with doing mock trials as a way to teach students at early age about the justice system and what good and bad choices lead to. “These mock trials  will be a fun way to get third graders thinking about the justice system, their choices and about potential careers,” said Judge Togliatti. “It’s never too early to get children thinking about these things; they are lessons that will stay with them for a long time, and hopefully have a positive influence on them.”

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A class of fourth graders got an education on the justice system when they sat through the court calendar of District Court Judge Douglas Herndon. They then got to test their chops in a court of law with a mock trial: The Ministry of Magic vs. Harry Potter. The students from the Meadows School were prepped by their teacher for their day in court. They played the roles of judges, jury, attorneys and witnesses. The fabulous fourth graders peppered Judge Herndon with questions; he in turn, grilled them about what they learned. They appeared to have learned a lot. Two more mock trials are scheduled with Judge Herndon April 18 and May 4 at 10 a.m. in courtroom 16D at the Regional Justice Center.

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Fourth grade students from The Meadows School will learn the basics of criminal trials when they serve as judge,  jury, lawyers and witnesses for the misappropriation of magic mock case on Tuesday, Apr. 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the Eighth Judicial District Court, in the Regional Justice Center, Courtroom 16C.          

The accused, is renowned master of magic Harry Potter, who will be lawyered-up with  top-notch student defense attorneys. The role of judge will be filled by students as well, with a little help from District Court Judge Douglas Herndon

“I have been doing mock trials with students for years and it has proven to be a fun and effective way to educate them about the justice system.” said Judge Herndon. “The students get an education on the law and how important it is in every one of our lives. If young people understand the law, they may be less likely to get on the wrong side of it.

Judge Herndon will also host eighth grade classes on Apr. 12th and Apr. 14th at 10:30 a.m. for mock trials with a plot that Lee Harvey Oswald was not killed and instead goes on trial for the murder of President John F. Kennedy.

 

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DSC_0269B.B. Wolf took the stand and told a harrowing tale of a boiling pot at the bottom of chimney; a trap set by the Little Pig for Wolf who was just trying to help a friend out. That story set the stage for the Las Vegas Day School third grade mock trial B.B. Wolf v Three Little Pigs in the courtroom of real District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti. The kids got a real feel of how justice works by serving as plaintiff, defendant, attorneys, judge, jurors, witnesses, marshal and even media.

After hearing the evidence from both sides, the jurors deliberated and found the little pig guilty of attempted murder. Not only did they learn how the justice system works, they learned if you have to go to court, be sure to get a good lawyer.

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At the first of three Ministry of Magic vs. Harry Potter mock trials with Meadows School fourth graders the courtroom was buzzing. Excited students gleefully buzzed around while many of their parents looked on shooting photos and video. Before the trial, the mini legal eagles grilled District Court Judge Douglas Herndon on every legal question they could think up. Judge Herndon patiently answered all of them. The students got to see the judge do his morning calendar. After, he asked the students what two elements most criminals have in common. The students quickly responded “drugs” but were stumped for the second element. “Lack of education,” said Judge Herndon. The students went through the case serving as prosecution, defense, witnesses, jurors and judge. The jury deliberated in a real jury room with pizza, just like a real jury. Judge Herndon explained that criminal trials have 12 jurors who must be unanimous in their decision in order to gain a conviction. He explained that civil trials have eight jurors and six must agree to reach a verdict. Two more classes will visit District Court for their turn to learn the law in a real courthouse on May 1 and May 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Eighth Judicial District Court, in the Regional Justice Center.

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