“It’s hard to think of a more valuable program to our community than Mock Trial. As both a coach and a former participant, I can attest that Mock Trial literally changes lives. Students in the program don’t just learn about the law. They learn about themselves – what they are capable of, how to speak articulately, how to analyze, investigate, react with reason on a moment’s notice, and do so with poise and confidence. In short, they learn skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives, regardless of the career path they choose … In a society where teens are bombarded by pressures to disengage from academics and instead immerse themselves in other – often potentially dangerous – pursuits, it is of critical importance that those students who are choosing another path are given positive reinforcement. In short, this is a critically important, lastingly significant, and downright phenomenal program that is highly worthy of community support.”

Sunshine Cavalluzzi, Orange County Teacher of the Year, El Dorado High School

Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County

The Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County (CRF-OC) is a non-profit, non-partisan education organization dedicated to empowering Orange County youth to be active, responsible citizens. Operating continuously since 1981, CRF-OC provides high-quality, interactive civic and law-related education programs that connect students directly with volunteer professionals and community leaders.

Our Reach: CRF-OC's education programs serve nearly 10,000 local teens and adult volunteers each year. The programs are made available to all high school students in Orange County, regardless of whether those students are enrolled in public school or private school or are homeschooled. Traditionally, the majority of students served by CRF-OC come from public schools. As a result, we reach a widely diverse student population, including students identified as coming from low-and middle-income families and students enrolled in county ACCESS, AVID and special education programs.

Our Support: CRF-OC benefits from a well-established network of community partners, including the Orange County Department of Education, the Orange County Superior Court, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the Orange County Probation Department, the Office of the Orange County District Attorney, the Office of the Orange County Public Defender, Community Services Program, Inc., Chapman University School of Law, Whittier School of Law, the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and Orange Coast College. All programs are operated with the volunteer assistance of hundreds of loyal, individual supporters from the fields of law, business, government and education. As a result, CRF-OC is able to minimize its operating expenses and provide its programs at no cost to participating youth, thus ensuring equal opportunity to all secondary students in Orange County. CRF-OC receives no public funding and relies primarily on donations from corporate and private foundations, law firms and individuals, including members of the legal and business communities. The Orange County Bar Association and its charitable fund are long-standing, major supporters.

Our Programs: CRF-OC operates five innovative and engaging education programs not offered by any other organization in Orange County: Mock Trial, Peer Court, Law Day, Constitution Day and the Orange County Career Forum. These programs address the critical need for civic learning in secondary education and promote an understanding of our democratic institutions and processes and an interest in participating in the larger community. Students learn about the judicial process, the rule of law, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society and social and legal issues of relevance to their lives. They also develop important academic, leadership and life skills necessary to achieve success in high school and beyond. CRF-OC's programs have a proven track record of achieving their educational objectives and enjoy a well-deserved reputation for excellence.

Mock Trial combines performance-based, law-related education with tournament-style, academic competition. High school students, working in teams under the guidance of volunteer attorney coaches and teachers, analyze the facts of a hypothetical criminal court case, analyze the case scenario, prepare trial strategy and enact every role in the trial proceedings, either as members of the prosecution or defense. The teams present their cases in real courtrooms before sitting judges and are scored by volunteer attorneys who observe from the jury box. All teams participate in at least four rounds of competition at the courthouse. Competition extends throughout the fall and the winning team is eligible to represent Orange County at the California State Mock Trial Finals the next March. Students also may compete in courtroom art and journalism contests.

Peer Court is a unique juvenile crime diversion program that offers both a second chance to first-time juvenile offenders who have committed non-violent misdemeanors and a valuable educational experience to all high school students in Orange County. Peer Court sessions are held at high school campuses across Orange County. Sitting judges preside, attorneys advise and high school students designated as "jurors" assess the cases presented and assign appropriate sanctions assisted by volunteer attorneys. Students in the audience observe and participate in an interactive curriculum, learning about the juvenile justice system and the importance of making responsible decisions.

Law Day Conference annually brings together 600 high school students, judges, attorneys and teachers on the campus of Whittier Law School to discuss and debate topical constitutional issues. Workshops moderated by leading experts in relevant fields provide an engaging and lively forum in which students are encouraged to explore their opinions on legal and social issues that affect their daily lives. In this year's conference, students balanced the individual's right to privacy with the public's need for safety and security in considering the use of drug-sniffing dogs on school campuses and the use of drones by government agencies. Students also examined the consequences of prosecuting juveniles as adults and the use of restorative justice to discipline students.

Constitution Day Conference complies with federal and state government mandates requiring that educational institutions accepting public funding celebrate Constitution Day. This year, CRF-OC is launching a new pilot outreach program to celebrate Constitution Day, placing volunteer judges and attorneys in classrooms across Orange County to present to students on the Magna Carta and its importance to the U.S. Constitution. The year 2015 marks the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta and the birth of democracy.

Orange County Career Forum annually connects 1,000 high school students with professionals and community leaders. Students from across Orange County come together on the campus of a local college to attend workshops that expose them to careers in such diverse fields as law enforcement, medicine and video game development, as well as important life skills such as managing credit and preparing for a successful job interview. A keynote speaker addresses all students with an inspirational message about achieving career goals.



 
PRESIDENT
David E. Outwater, Esq.

VICE-PRESIDENT
Richard J. Grabowski, Esq.

SECRETARY
Dean J. Zipser, Esq.

TREASURER
Brian Neach, Esq.

PAST PRESIDENT
Adina W. Stowell, Esq.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Darren O. Aitken, Esq.
Jason H. Anderson, Esq.
Michael Baroni, Esq.
Damon Burrows, Esq.
Matthew S. Buttacavoli, Esq.
Alan M. Carlson, Esq.
Denise Carter, Esq.
Ray Chips, Ed.D.
Randall J. Clement, Esq.
Alan J. Crivaro, Esq.
Var Fox
Todd G. Friedland, Esq.
Lisa Glasser, Esq.
Daniel M. Glassman, Esq.
Jeffery C. Hamilton
Jonathan P. Hersey, Esq.
Baraa Kahf, Esq.
H. H. (Shashi) Kewalramani, Esq.
Eoin L. Kreditor, Esq.
Linda D. Lam, Esq.
Allison Libeu, Esq.
Kristin N. Murphy, Esq.
Brent J. North, Esq.
Pamela S. Palmer, Esq.
Eric S. Pezold, Esq.
Natasha Pfeiffer, Esq.
Hon. Karen E. Scott
Alan Slater
Barbara C. Tingley
Captain Michael Toledo
Stephen J. Toretto, Esq.
Thomas W. Tuttle, Esq.
Hans Van Ligten, Esq.
Robert Vicario
Peter N. Villar, Esq.
Matthew D. Williamson, Esq.
Todd R. Wulffson, Esq.
Michael G. Yoder, Esq.

JUDICIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Hon. John S. Adams
Hon. Craig E. Arthur
Hon. Thomas J. Borris
Hon. Donald F. Gaffney
Hon. Jay C. Gandhi
Hon. James P. Gray (Ret.)
  Emeritus
Hon. Douglas J. Hatchimonji
Hon. Raymond J. Ikola
Hon. C. Robert Jameson (Ret.)
  Emeritus
Hon. Lance P. Jensen
Hon. Richard Y. Lee
Hon. Linda Lancet Miller (Ret.)
  Emeritus
Hon. Jamoa Moberly
Hon. William M. Monroe (Ret.)
  Emeritus
Hon. Randall J. Sherman

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Shara Beral Witkin, Esq.

PROGRAM MANAGER
Theresa Bernard, LL.M

ASST. PROGRAM MANAGER
Ryan C. Ely




     

For more information, contact Shara Beral Witkin, Esq. at switkin@crfoc.org or 949.679.0730, ext. 102