Congratulations to all the fine teams which made the 2013 NCAJ High School Mock Trial Competition an exciting success. Your teamwork, hard work and creativity reveal what talented young men and women you are.
We at the Carolina Center for Civic Education strive to provide our wonderful students with legal cases that are relevant and fun to work on. In creating these cases, we are committed to achieving balance so that the scale is not tilted favorably toward one side or the other straight out of the gate. Furthermore, we work diligently to educate your presiding judges and scoring jurors on the rules of evidence and procedure within which the mock trial teams work, the rules of the competition, and the case materials. Our goal is to assure balanced and neutral scoring for all teams.
As the Scoring Director for our statewide competition, I am responsible for educating our site coordinators and official scorers about our modified power-matching system of scoring. In that system, we adjust straight power-matching to ensure that every team has the opportunity to portray both sides of the case once, as well as to meet different opponents in each round. In this capacity, I am also committed to the goal of all of us at CCCE to assure a fair scoring system that accurately reflects the strength of the performances of team members.
The results from the eight regionals for 2013 indicate that CCCE’s efforts have been effective. This year’s very interesting and timely case was developed by our Program Coordinator, Sue Heath Johnson. Based on the results of all regional rounds, Sue clearly gave us the gift of a well-balanced case. Out of 62 rounds of trials, 31 rounds were won by the plaintiff and 31 by the defense. Not only were the end results dead even, but the ballots won were almost even. Out of 186 ballots from our scoring jurors in those trials, 94 ballots were won by the plaintiff and 92 were won by the defense.
The balance even extends to the total points earned by teams statewide. The total points awarded to all teams arguing as Plaintiff from all ballots were 15,192. Points awarded to all teams arguing for the Defendant totaled 15,062. That represents a mere 0.9% variance between points awarded to each side.
Is it possible to get much more balanced?
All of us with CCCE are devoted to providing our students with a mock trial scoring system of the highest integrity. We will continue to evaluate our scoring system and its actual application in trial to assure all of you the best mock trial experience possible.
Thank you all for your inspiring work. We look forward to seeing you again in 2014, unless you up and decide to graduate!