The Deschutes County Courthouse was packed Saturday, as real judges and lawyers heard from both sides in mock murder trials put on by high school students.
Students from Sisters High School are among the many who have been working for months to prepare their cases for today -- actually a case, since everyone uses the same case and plays various roles, from bailiff to judge to witnesses and the defendant.
"It's real intense. We get the syllabus in sometime from early to mid-December, and basically every day after we get the syllabus, we are going over the case," said Sister High mock trial coach Darryl L. Doke.
"Practicing the roles, and learning the law. Learning how to present themselves to the court, learning how to question. It's very rigorous. A lots is demanded of these kids, and they really, really work hard."
The trials are all part of a statewide classroom law project. The mock trials were held in courtrooms across the state Saturday, with teams of student lawyers all presenting cases, they hope would be strong enough to win and advance to the state competition.
The top two teams from Saturday's competition will go on the championship round of the mock trial in Portland in two weeks.
For more information you can visit the Oregon mock trial website at http://www.classroomlaw.org/homepage/mock-trial-competition/