The National High School Mock Trial Championship is an American nationwide competition of high school mock trial teams. Hundreds, and even thousands of teams participate in district, regional, and state tournaments to select one champion team to represent each of the 50 states. The competition debuted in 1984 in Des Moines, Iowa, with teams representing Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
Iowa has been the most successful state in the competition, setting a record in 2023 with its fifth national championship. Georgia has earned the title four times, while Washington State and Tennessee have each won the national championship three times. California, New Jersey, South Carolina, Indiana, New Mexico, and Arizona have all won twice.
Past winners and runners-up of the competition include the following schools:
|Year||Host City||Winner||Second Place|
|1984||Des Moines, Iowa||Nebraska - Ogallala High School||Minnesota - Cloquet High School|
|1985||Lincoln, Nebraska||Texas - Richard King High School||unknown|
|1986||Phoenix, Arizona||Iowa - Lincoln High School||Wisconsin - Superior High School|
|1987||Washington, D.C.||Arizona - Xavier College Preparatory||Iowa - Marshalltown High School|
|1988||Dallas, Texas||South Carolina - Socastee High School||Texas - Westlake High School|
|1989||Louisville, Kentucky||Wisconsin - Rhinelander High School||California - John Marshall High School|
|1990||Portland, Oregon||Colorado - Evergreen High School||Ohio - Shaw High School|
|1991||New Orleans, Louisiana||New Jersey - Bergen Catholic High School||Texas - Richard King High School|
|1992||Madison, Wisconsin||Ohio - Shaw High School||Texas - Richard King High School|
|1993||Atlanta, Georgia||Mississippi - South Pike High School||Ohio - Shaw High School|
|1994||Chicago, Illinois||California - Arlington High School||Rhode Island - Classical High School|
|1995||Denver, Colorado||Georgia - South Gwinnett High School||Delaware - St. Mark's High School|
|1996||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Michigan - Kalamazoo Central High School||Arizona - Deer Valley High School|
|1997||Nashville, Tennessee||Arizona - Deer Valley High School||Tennessee - Clinton High School, Tennessee|
|1998||Albuquerque, New Mexico||New Jersey - Cherry Hill High School East||Guam - Southern High School|
|1999||St. Louis, Missouri||Georgia - Clarke Central High School||Colorado - Regis Jesuit High School|
|2000||Columbia, South Carolina||Washington - Franklin High School||North Carolina - Asheboro High School|
|2001||Omaha, Nebraska||Iowa - Pocahontas High School||New Jersey - Montclair High School|
|2002||St. Paul, Minnesota||Tennessee - Family Christian Academy Homeschoolers||Pennsylvania - Quigley Catholic High School|
|2003||New Orleans, Louisiana||Tennessee - Family Christian Academy Homeschoolers||Colorado - Glenwood Springs High School|
|2004||Orlando, Florida||South Carolina - Bob Jones Academy||Wisconsin - Rhinelander High School|
|2005||Charlotte, North Carolina||California - Tamalpais High School||Hawaii - Kauai High School|
|2006||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||Iowa - Valley High School||Michigan - Kalamazoo Central High School|
|2007||Dallas, Texas||Georgia - Jonesboro High School||Michigan - Kalamazoo Central High School|
|2008||Wilmington, Delaware||Georgia - Jonesboro High School||Michigan - Kalamazoo Central High School|
|2009||Atlanta, Georgia||Indiana - John Adams High School||Minnesota - Lakeville North High School|
|2010||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Minnesota - Breck School||Illinois - Hinsdale Central High School|
|2011||Phoenix, Arizona||Indiana - John Adams High School||Missouri - MICDS|
|2012||Albuquerque, New Mexico||New Mexico - Albuquerque Academy||Georgia - Henry W. Grady High School|
|2013||Indianapolis, Indiana||New Mexico - Albuquerque Academy||California - La Reina High School|
|2014||Madison, Wisconsin||Washington - Seattle Preparatory School||South Carolina - North Myrtle Beach High School|
|2015||Raleigh, North Carolina||Nebraska - Duchesne Academy||Georgia - Northview High School|
|2016||Boise, Idaho||Iowa - Marion Home School Assistance Program||Nebraska - Duchesne Academy|
|2017||Hartford, Connecticut||North Carolina - Central Carolina Homeschoolers||Michigan - Kalamazoo Central High School|
|2018||Reno, Nevada||Washington - Franklin High School||Minnesota - Nova Classical Academy|
|2019||Athens, Georgia||Tennessee - Agathos Classical School||Nebraska - Creighton Preparatory School|
|2021||Evansville, Indiana*||Maryland - The Park School of Baltimore||Iowa - Iowa City High School|
|2022||Kalamazoo, Michigan*||Kentucky - Montgomery County High School||Georgia - Northview High School|
|2023||Little Rock, Arkansas||Iowa - Ankeny High School||New Mexico - Albuquerque Academy|
*The 2021 and 2022 NHSMTC were held virtually over Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Torah Academy of Bergen County from Teaneck, New Jersey had won its state's 2005 competition, but faced difficulties in its ultimately successful effort to gain accommodations to participate in the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina without being required to compete during the Jewish Sabbath.
The American Mock Trial Invitational was created in 2006 by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers as an alternative competition to address concerns of religious commitments by competing school teams.
Maimonides School of Brookline, Massachusetts won the 2009 Massachusetts state championship and desired to participate in the national championship in Atlanta, Georgia. Due to religious dietary restrictions and Shabbat observance the school asked for accommodation in order to participate without violating their religious beliefs. The school asked for two trials to be changed from Saturday to Thursday or Friday in order to avoid violating Shabbat. In response the school obtained attorney Nathan Lewin to represent the school. Lewin filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice alleging religious discrimination and a violation of civil rights. Attorney Elizabeth Price resigned from the Georgia State Bar in protest over the National Board refusing to grant the requests for accommodation. The Anti-Defamation League sent a letter of protest to the National Board complaining against the lack of reasonable accommodation, asking the National Board not to punish children for their religious beliefs. The United States Congress condemned the National Board for failing to provide for these accommodations. On May 7, 2009, Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Doris Downs ruled that unless the competition would accommodate the Orthodox Jewish students, then the courthouse would not be allowed to be used for the competition.
- About the Competition, National High School Mock Trial Championship. Accessed July 1, 2007.
- Participant History & Past National Winners, National High School Mock Trial Championship. Accessed July 1, 2007.
- "Rhinelander Students Top Mock Trial Competition". St. Paul Pioneer Press. May 15, 1989. pp. 2B Metro. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
- "Previous Results". Constitutional Rights Foundation. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
- Aberback, Brian. " New mock trial contest arises from controversy", The Record (Bergen County), February 24, 2006, accessed April 19, 2007.
- American Mock Trial Invitational, accessed April 19, 2007. Archived February 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Brown, Robbie (May 6, 2009). "National Mock Trial Competition Encounters a Real Legal Challenge". The New York Times.
- "Georgia: Resignation Over Trial Contest". The New York Times. May 7, 2009.
- "Mock Trial Association Relents: Jewish School Wins Full Participation In Competition". www.adl.org. Archived from the original on 2009-05-11.
- "The Cutting Edge News".
- "FOX 5 Atlanta". 16 December 2021.
- "Maimonides School: News & Events". www.maimonides.org. Archived from the original on 2011-06-09.