Canyon of Heroes – 2007
2007 Empire Champion
Cibola High School
Albuquerque, NM, U.S.A.
Caroline Chapdelaine, Captain
David Berlin, Esq.
On Father’s Day 2007 (June 17th), the Cibola High School Mock Trial team captured the inaugural Empire City Championship, finishing with a record of 12-1 (including the Championship Round).
The two time New Mexico State Champions headlined a group of 11 schools that took part in what was an unknown commodity at the time. The school’s decision to attend the inaugural event and ability to fundraise was just as impressive as their championship performance.
Cibola came to New York with their sights set on the title. Dressed in matching red and black suits, they intimidated the opposition before they even stepped foot in the courtroom. Throughout the weekend, the team from Albuquerque proved that opponents were right to fear them. En route to their title, Cibola defeated the third, fourth and fifth place teams at the Empire, including the reigning Texas State Champions, Creekview High School.
After four rounds of competition, the two schools left standing were Cibola and Bishop Lynch High School, the 2007 Texas Runner-up. The two faced off in a memorable Championship Round, presided over by former U.S. Attorney Daniel Bookin. The round was scored by five judges and held in the magnificent Ceremonial Courtroom. In the end, the verdict was unanimous. Cibola took all five ballots and was crowned tournament champions. Across the 12 ballots they won, Cibola beat its team by a combined 108 points – talk about convincing!
Cibola’s success at the 2007 Empire was not surprising. Led by a dedicated, ambitious coach, David Berlin, the team featured poised, articulate and confident attorneys; while, there witnesses were engaging and personable. Their knowledge of the rules of evidence was impeccable and their attorneys did an excellent job of demonstrating that knowledge.
In 2009, led by former Outstanding Empire Attorney Jonathan Dominguez, Cibola captured its third New Mexico State title.
“The Empire City Invitational was an amazing experience, one with multiple firsts. It let me compete at the national level for the first time, let me win my first Outstanding Attorney award, and it allowed me the opportunity to participate in my first Championship Round. Winning the Invitational was incredible, and is a moment that I will never forget.”
- Jonathan Dominguez, Outstanding Attorney Recipient