Are you the Best in the World?


GLADIATOR showcases the best high school mock trial competitors anywhere.  Since 2015, we've hosted more than 200 competitors from 25 states and 5 countries.  They represent schools that have won county, state, and national championships.  And they don't just compete for those teams; they star for those teams: collectively, these Gladiators have won more than 500 attorney and witness awards.


GLADIATOR is not a team tournament.  It's one-on-one.  Your teammates, coaches, and family can help you prepare, but once you enter the courtroom, you have no co-counsel.  It's you against everyone else.


The winner gets the most iconic trophy in mock trial -- a life-size replica Gladiator helmet -- and the title of Best in the World.  


Applications are now open!  Click here to apply by May 21.  Any high school mock trial competitor is eligible, including those graduating this season (in other words, students are eligible to compete in GLADIATOR during the first summer after they graduate high school). The registration is $595 (reduced from $695 when the competition was in-person).  


Gladiator 2021 will be held over Zoom so everyone can participate despite the public health situation.  Gladiator 2020 was on Zoom, and it went great. 


To assist with the technology, each Gladiator may be assisted by a "second chair" -- a (silent) co-counsel who is in charge of displaying exhibits and demonstrative aids, and who is permitted to communicate with the Gladiator.  Anyone 18 or younger who has not started college may serve as second chair. 


How it works


Each trial features exactly two attorneys (one per side) and two witnesses (one per side).  The judge and jury score everything head to head.  The two attorneys are compared to one another, and the two witnesses are compared to one another.  


There are four rounds.  During those four rounds, each Gladiator will performs each role once: prosecutor, defense attorney, prosecution witness, and defense witness.  Placement is based on results from all four trials, with much greater weight on attorney performance. 


After four trials, the two highest-scoring competitors square off as attorneys in the championship round (we provide the witnesses for the final).  The winner is crowned best in the world.

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GLADIATOR kicks off with a Welcome Ceremony, followed by trials, an awards ceremony, and playoff rounds.  In the weeks leading up to the tournament, we will hold (optional) social events and training seminars online (at no additional cost).

Here are our GLADIATOR champions posing with the trophy and tournament director Justin Bernstein (Megan Jones in 2015, Andy Parker in 2016, Audrey Shepard in 2017, and Tiffany Tam in 2018, Abby Branham in 2019).  Ethan Marx was the 2020 world champion. You can watch the championship trials on our Stand Up Mock Trial YouTube page.  


The Logistics


GLADIATOR 2021 is July 23-25.  All trials will be on Zoom.  Every competitor is guaranteed at least four trials (two as an attorney, two as a witness).  Registration is $595, with scholarships available for students in need. There is no cost to participating as a second chair.


The Case


GLADIATOR will feature a brand new case specifically created for a one-on-one world championship: short enough to prepare in a month, complex enough to distinguish the best.  The case will be written by Justin Bernstein, author of 20 mock trial cases, including four used at Empire and seven used for national competition.  We release the case one month before GLADIATOR (after the mock trial season and school year).




We are now accepting applications.  Click here to apply.  The application is free.  The deadline is May 21.  But space is limited -- for years, we've had to turn away award-winning, state-champion competitors.  We admit students on a rolling basis, so those who apply early often stand a better chance. 


Email with any questions.

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© 2014 by Stand Up Mock Trial, LLC.