On Jan 28, the Parkway North Mock Trial team competed in its first round of trials against various different schools at the St. Louis County Courthouse. Although not all the groups came out on top, three out of the four teams won their trials with a perfect record.
“I think our teams were very prepared and that the students performed at the top of their ability,” said English teacher and mock trial coach Megan McCorkle.
While one of the Parkway North Mock Trial Team groups was not able to compete due to a forfeit from their opponent, they were still given a 3-0 record for the first trial. Out of the other three teams, one of the plaintiff teams and the team arguing defense both won their trials with all the evaluators voting in their favor.
In mock trial competitions, each team argues its side, while two or three licensed attorneys sit in the jury box and award points based on objections made, quality of questions, presentation, and believability of a witness. Another lawyer or judge also acts as the presiding judge and gets a vote on which team he or she thinks did a better job. At the end of the trial, points are tallied up to determine which side wins.
“I find Mock Trial to be interesting, challenging and fun. Reading over the case and trying to think of ideas can be frustrating, but it feels great when you finally get something to use,” said junior Durga Kullakanda.
The Bar Association of Missouri-St Louis is in charge of high school mock trial teams in Missouri. At the beginning of the Mock Trial season, which starts in the winter, BAMSL puts out a case, complete with depositions, evidence, and stipulations, for the mock trial teams to use. However, it is up to each individual team to come up with ideas and arguments for the trial.
“Our team has faced challenges with the case itself. Due to the nature of mock trial, we were conflicted with how to approach the case, but a scrimmage and now a first round has helped us to see what path we will most likely take,” said Kullakanda.
Mock trial requires team members to come up with their own ideas on how to approach the case. This requires a lot of planning and teamwork to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
“[Mock Trial] makes you work with your team to think of ideas to help the whole group. You do have to put in effort if you want to do well,” said Kullakanda.
Mock trial meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8p.m. The next competition will be on Feb 7 at the St. Louis County Courthouse.
By: Gianna Sparks Centerspread Editor