The legal case was grim: a falling-out between partners in an energy-drink company, an alleged deadly drink laced with caffeine and hallucinogens, and a sudden death during a “zombie run.”

But a mock-trial team from Seattle Prep was jubilant Saturday night in Madison, Wisc., after winning top honors at the National High School Mock Trial Competition.

The Seattle Prep team, coached by Andy McCarthy, represented the “plaintiff” — the dead man’s half-brother and confidant — in the wrongful-death action, and beat teams from 45 other states. A team from North Myrtle Beach, S.C., was the runner-up.

Seattle Prep has finished in the top 10 at the national competition for the past few years. In 2000, Seattle’s Franklin High School won the national championship.

Elizabeth Shields of Seattle Prep earned an award for Outstanding Lawyer in the competition.

“This really is a fabulous accomplishment by some incredibly bright and hardworking young people,” said King County Superior Court Judge William Downing, who convenes the local mock-trial event for high schools.