Mock trial ends soon

Chloe Staples, Photo Editor

The Cathedral Catholic High School mock trial team competed its final competition last weekend at the San Diego County Courthouse downtown during the 13th Annual San Diego High School Mock Trial Competition, where the team presented their case against other schools.

“Students need to create all elements necessary for the trail including the pretrial argument, opening statement, direct questions, cross questions, and a closing statement,” mock trial team adviser and history teacher Mr. Daniel Collins said.

“Witnesses need to know their statement inside and out as well as how their testimony fits into the larger picture of the trial.”
Although the CCHS mock trial team did not place highly, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace placed second and Westview High School, who placed first, will continue to compete in the Finals of the 38th Annual California State High School Mock Trial Competition in Sacramento March 22-24.

The students competed a total of four times, two for the prosecution team and two for the defense team. There were also a number of scrimmages in order to prepare the students for the competitions.

“Our students performed very well this year,” Mr. Collins said. “We managed to put on fantastic cases and get verdicts in almost all our trials. We knew our facts extremely well and did a great job building our case and attacking our opponents cases. Unfortunately, our presentation was not as polished as other schools, and presentation is incredibly important to the scorers.”

Along with preparing their cases, the students must learn legal terms and how they are applied to our legal system. In order to be successful, the team must learn the rules that go along with the trial in order to earn as many points as they can.

“I think it gives fantastic insight into our criminal justice system,” Mr. Collins said. “Students actually get to build a case from the bottom up and try that case in front of an actual judge. If anyone is interested in law, the mock trial is the most true-to-life thing that high school students can participate in. It is very similar to Moot Court which law students participate in, and it is also similar to the job that real trial attorneys do.”

Students can join mock trial by attending meetings at the beginning of the school year and in September the team begins explaining what goes along with being a member of the team and the process of the competitions.

Students may also ask Mr. Collins to be added to the teams Schoology group to receive updates on when the meetings and competitions will take place.

“I think our students worked incredibly hard, and I’m very proud of the trials we put on,” Mr. Collins said.