Mock Trial continues State success

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Mock Trial continues State success

The 2018-2019 Mock Trial team went to State again this year.

The 2018-2019 Mock Trial team went to State again this year.

Photo Courtesy of Mary Murray

The 2018-2019 Mock Trial team went to State again this year.

Photo Courtesy of Mary Murray

Photo Courtesy of Mary Murray

The 2018-2019 Mock Trial team went to State again this year.

Jackie Bucaro, Staff Writer

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BSM’s Mock Trial team has been enjoying success for the past few years. Last year, they won 5th place in the state of Minnesota, and this year, they won 3rd. The Mock Trial team is open to anyone and uses professional coaches to create a realistic courtroom atmosphere.

As the Mock Trial team grows in popularity, it has begun to expand. A JV team was formed a couple of years ago for those who are new to Mock Trial. Not only does the addition of a JV team allow more people to participate in Mock Trial, but it provides a more relaxed environment for new team members to hone their skills. The JV team is guided by the coaches, but also by the captains. “The [JV] kids don’t understand it as well as [the varsity members] do… [Our job is] just making sure the JV kids understand what’s happening and breaking it down for them,” senior Mock Trial captain Maddie Kurtovich said.

[It’s] learning how to argue, but in a way that you’re not arguing just to argue. You’re arguing a point, because you’re making a point. So learning how to make an argument that’s an effective argument is key.”

— Mary Murray

Professional coaches bring much of the legal atmosphere to the Mock Trial experience. These coaches are lawyers or people who have had experience in law. Many Mock Trial teams work with lawyers or other professional coaches: it is almost necessary, given how large a role legal proceedings play in Mock Trial. “Pretty much every team has a coach that’s either a lawyer or like a judge or at least has some legal experience. Because… the legal stuff is what actually makes the case a mock trial,” Kurtovich said.

However, Mock Trial does not revolve entirely around law. There is an aspect of acting found in the activity. Team members in witness roles are expected to be able to play the part of the specific witness. “We have three witnesses on each side and those witnesses have to be able to play that role… It’s a pretty big deal… You have to act like you’re literally 48 years old, or whatever your role says,” Mock Trial team advisor Mary Murray said.

Mock Trial shares many similarities with real court proceedings, such as the objections used, but there are distinct differences as well. The main differences that separate Mock Trial from a real-world experience are the limits and constraints in the activity. “You only have three witnesses, three lawyers, that kind of thing. And we have a time constraint… that’s not real… sometimes real trials go for weeks on end,” Murray said.

Although it focuses on a single case for the duration of the season, Mock Trial teaches deeper, life-long lessons. “[It’s] learning how to argue, but in a way that you’re not arguing just to argue. You’re arguing a point, because you’re making a point. So learning how to make an argument that’s an effective argument is key,” Murray said.

With its embrace of professional coaching and real-world aspects, the Mock Trial team has been able to have a very successful season. Before their advance to the state tournament, the team was ranked high in the state. “We’re undefeated… Last year we placed fifth overall. This year we have the highest 5-0 differential. There’s only one other team that’s kinda close to us, that has 100 points, but we have 102,” Murray said.  

 

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