Balboa High hits mock trial big time

By Jill Tucker | SF Chronicle

San Francisco’s Balboa High School mock trial team took first place in the city’s annual mock trial competition, the first school other than Lowell or School of the Arts to win the competition since 2007.

The panel of scorers, which included Superior Court Judge Braden Woods and Hastings Law Professor Eumi Lee, unanimously selected Balboa’s team as the clear winner, according to Wesley Spowhn, of the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, whose attorneys coached the Balboa students.

The winning team of 25 students was commended for their pretrial argument on Miranda rights, cross examinations and witness performances.

The students have been practicing weekly since September, memorizing witness lines and attorney arguments, said the team’s adviser, English teacher Minauti Dave.

“They were ecstatic,” Dave said Friday. “It’s unfathomable how they did this with their heavy load of school work and their extracurricular activities.

The competition finals took place in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Northern California Federal Courthouse with the winner announced Thursday night.

The Balboa team will represent the city at the state championship in Riverside later this month.