ClickCease Inaugural Bay Area Trial League Holds First Mock Trial

Inaugural Bay Area Trial League Holds First Mock Trial

The Walkup firm recently hosted its first Bay Area Trial League mock trial program, which serves as a platform for collaboration, mentorship, and skill-building exercises for associate attorneys.

The Bay Area Trial League provides young attorneys with invaluable real-world experience and helps bridge the gap between theory and practice in legal education.

Last week, associates Jeff Clause and Ashcon Minoiefar from Walkup Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, teamed up with two Farella Braun + Martel LLP attorneys, Tim Kobelski and Patrick Loi to serve as plaintiff and defense counsel. Fourteen jurors listened to testimony from actors who played the role of witnesses, and a local prosecutor oversaw the proceedings as the mock trial judge.

The fictitious civil injury case involved a personal injury dispute that stemmed from a baseball game spectator who suffered a traumatic brain injury after the ball from a homerun hit struck the fan in the head. The trial focused on the liability of the baseball team owner, who decided to remove safety netting in the outfield to make the minor league games more engaging for spectators and social media. The jury found the defendant 57% at fault for the plaintiff’s injury.

Walkup Shareholder Spencer Pahlke came up with the idea for the Bay Area Trial League and recently launched the first-of-its-kind program to develop the firm’s associates’ skills and confidence.

“These mock trials foster a sense of community among legal professionals, encourage knowledge-sharing, and ultimately strengthen the legal landscape in the Bay Area, “said Pahlke, who hopes to expand the program by partnering with other local law firms.

He says the goal is for participants to strengthen critical advocacy skills, enhance legal expertise, and promote professional development among attorneys.

As civil jury trials become less common, programs like this one allow lawyers to hone their litigation skills, master courtroom etiquette, and gain confidence in high-pressure situations.

Right to left: Tim Kobelski (Farella), Jeff Clause (Walkup), Ashcon Minoiefar (Walkup) & Patrick Loi (Farella).