Mock Trial Strategies

About the Site

Polk County Courthouse, Dallas, Oregon, 1900

Why this site was designed

This site was created in the Fall of 2018 by Dennis Gerl, an attorney and educator in Oregon.  Dennis has coached high school Mock Trial for many years.   

Some schools, mostly private, are lucky enough to be able to offer Mock Trial classes, but most public schools do not have the funds to do so. Even the offering of social studies classes have been cut back in recent years.  Consequently, in public high schools Mock Trial operates primarily as clubs that meet after school.  These clubs depend on volunteer attorneys whose time is limited. 

Starting new Mock Trial teams, and maintaining existing teams, is a challenge for many schools.  The site is intend to help coaches and teams overcome this difficulty by offering readily available tips, educational material, lesson plans, templates and other links online. 

The site is also intended for students who want to learn mock trial skills at both the high school and collegiate levels, and have a readily available resource of templates, educational material and videos to draw on.  

Finally, the site is intended for teachers, who can use the educational material, lesson plans, templates and resource links in the classroom to help students develop public speaking and trial skills, and, hopefully, to gain a greater understanding, appreciation and interest in our legal system. 

It is Dennis’ hope that the web site will contribute to the furtherance of Mock Trial competitions, not only in the State of Oregon where he lives, but throughout the country. He thanks the many wonderful teachers and coaches he has worked with and who have shared their insight and material over the years, including Stan Paulic, Robert Emond and Drew Moneke.

If you found the information helpful, donations to keep it up and running are appreciated. 

Feel free to contact Dennis if you have any comments or suggestions.

Background of the site designer

  • Former attorney, specialized in civil litigation 
  • J.D., University of Oregon
  • Part time educator, secondary schools 
  • M.Ed., University of Oregon
  • M.Ed. capstone project:  Using Relational Models to Teach Higher Thinking Skills
  • B.A. Philosophy,  U.C.S.B
  • Volunteer High School Mock Trial Coach
  • Trained in mediation and restorative justice

Dennis M. Gerl, esq.

Much more approachable without a suit and tie, don’t you think?

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