Mock trial is an excellent resource for students who are pre-law or who want to further develop their leadership and public speaking abilities. Many students who join mock trial and are active within the organization don’t go on to practice law. That is because mock trial prepares students in rhetoric and persuasion through a legal forum; providing a rigid structure and set of rules in which students are allowed to argue cases. The mock trial structure allows students to develop critical thinking skills across a broad range of subjects and requires them to be able to analyze critical information and translate that into a suitable argument for the courtroom.
One type of case that students in Mock trial might come across are civil actions or proceedings in the form of employment law. Employment law generally refers to laws and regulations set up between employers and employees. In the United States, the general rule for all employment is what is known as “Employment at Will”, which basically states that employees are hired on an “at will” basis and can be terminated, leave employment or discontinue working for any reason or no reason at any time with or without any type of notice. The exceptions to this rule come in when there is an agreement, usually in writing, stating exceptions to this rule. It is important to note, that even an employee handbook with stated rules can be an exception to this rule. In addition, most states recognize public policy exceptions and employers that terminate employment based on prohibited discriminatory reasons can create liability.
Other laws and regulations within the United States also provide certain benefits to employees. While medical insurance, vacation time, severance pay and retirement pay or pensions are popular with many companies, they are in no way required benefits that employers must provide. Rather, federal Fair Labor Standards Act mandates general outlines for how an employer/employee relationship may exist. Employees and employers can’t simply agree to work for a stated amount over a period of time, the law may still mandate certain payments of overtime and other restrictions and employers found violating employment laws are subject to significant penalties.
As you can see, Employment Law can be a bit of a tricky subject. If your team has a mock trial case dealing with the wrongful termination of an employee in San Francisco, the details of the case, the laws and regulations within the state of California and local districts of San Francisco and the previously defined relationship between employee and employer are all details that need to be taken carefully into account. Successfully arguing a mock trial case requires proper analysis of all aspects of the case and a well-developed argument that clearly defines your position within the definitions of the law.