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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Las Vegas Mock Trial

Four fourth grade classes from Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School experienced justice in action at the Eighth Judicial District Court in early April. They  also got a view on where life-choices lead when they sat in on actual criminal calendars and saw judges, court employees and attorneys perform their jobs. They watched defendants in various stages of their cases, including sentencing. After viewing the calendar, students asked judges questions about  what they saw, and how and why it works that way. The Q&A session was followed by a mock trial of Harry Potter, who was charged with misappropriation of magic. The school visits are part of a new joint program between nonprofit agency Project Real, the District Court and schools.

District Court Judge Doug Herndon envisioned this mock trial program. He wrote the script 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. “This program is a good way for young students to see the legal profession in action. When they watch actual court proceedings, they see the unfortunate consequences of criminal activity,” said Judge Herndon. “The mock trials give the students a way to relate to and understand the justice system, and see career roles that they may want to consider in the future.”

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.

The mock trial program is intended to contrast the view of careers in the justice system against the choice to get involved in criminal activity. This collaboration between the courts, Project Real and Hickey Elementary School involved a lot of work on the part of the judges and their departments in District Court, Project Real, and the teachers. Thanks to the many people who helped to make it come together so that the students could benefit from a real-world perspective.

 

 

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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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Second graders from Merryhill Elementary School approached the case of State of Nevada vs. Goldilocks as if they were seasoned justice professionals. The mini attorneys litigated the case in which the golden girl was charged with robbery, theft and trespassing before a panel of three judges, including real District Court Judge Linda Marquis. Judge Marquis sponsored the mock trial for the young legal eagles to give them a hands-on lesson on the justice system. The students clearly got the message and nailed the verdict. They found the blonde defendant guilty of trespassing and theft, but not guilty of robbery. After their efforts, the second graders, who played roles ranging from judge and attorney to journalist and jurors, were rewarded with a treat and a certificate. The attorney fees were a lot cheaper than the real lawyers they played. Give them a few years.

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