Mock Trial season testifies the team’s talent

Mock Trial season testifies the team's talent

Photo courtesy of Jim Vogl

The Mock Trial team had a succesful season at several competitions due to immense practice and help from professional lawyers.

Mallory Hoch, Staff Writer

Beginning in October, the Mock Trial team has practiced every night from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in room 121 in preparation for upcoming competitions. Coming to a close on January 31st, the season ended on a strong note, making it to subsections before loosing their last competition.

The season commenced with general practices to help initiate new members. However, the team was not assigned their first case until early November. “The case is sent out in early November, and at that time, the student can choose their roles—either as lawyers or as witnesses,” said Sister Jeanne Vanderlinde, club advisor.

This year’s case was a fictitious case which the team researched for several weeks. This case lasts throughout the season, and was enacted during competitions. “This year we are working on a civil case. It is a wrongful termination suit between Rook E. Greenwood and and Chief Billie Durden,” said Jen Vogl, senior.

At competitions, there are two teams—one representing the Plaintiff, who presents the case to the court and one representing the Defense. “[The judges] award presentation points to every student, and the role they play during the trial as lawyers or witnesses. Then, based on those points, they determine the winner,” said Sister Jeanne.

As club advisor, Sister Jeanne helps to run practices and competitions. However, the coaching of the team is done by actual lawyers. “Lawyers volunteer on Thursday to work with us to prepare us for an actual trial that takes place at the Hennepin County Government Center,” said Vogl.

Prior to the first meet, the team also participates in a Saturday scrimmage to help them prepare for their upcoming competitions. “Our last scrimmage was at Lakeville, and [scrimmages] are helpful because they really are just a chance for the students to practice their skills,” said Sister Jeanne.

Due to loss of their most recent meet on the 31st, the team will not move on to the regional competition, and ended the season with a 1-2 win–loose record. “We lost to Apple Valley by about 8 points, but all of our [mock trail] members will still letter,” said Sister Jeanne.

In addition to helping students practice their reasoning and arguing skills, participation in mock trial also trains students who are interested in a future career in law. “I’m interested in the field of law, and in trials more specifically. In [my mock trails], I direct and cross examine witnesses and even present the opening on the Plaintiff’s side,” said freshman Parker Breza.