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Mock Trial Team Gearing Up for an Interesting Civil Law Case

by Hannah Benson

Students in the Mock Trial club have been working hard to prepare, practice, and perform this year’s court case.

Social Studies teacher Lauren Day is sponsoring the club, and even though it is her first year, she is handling the club smoothly.

Day explained the club by stating, “Each year in the Mock Trial club, students are given a fictional, criminal, or civil court case to review. They must approach the case as if they are real-life attorneys and witnesses involved in a case. They prepare arguments and memorize the details of their roles, and then they ‘perform’ the trial in front of real legal professionals.”

“For each of the six trials, they compete against another team in the county, alternating with each case between acting as the plaintiff/prosecutor and acting as the defense. When they have finished each trial, they then receive feedback from the lawyer ‘judges,’ who ultimately choose a winning team,” added Day.

Day added, “I look forward to seeing the students in action and hearing the insightful critiques by the judges. Some students who are participating in the club have been a part of it for the past several years, and are excited to take on increasing responsibilities in preparation for the trials. For me, one of the most interesting parts is dissecting the legal aspects of the case, but I’m sure that once I see the trials in action, that will be the most fulfilling aspect of the club.”

Students have mixed feelings on this year’s case. “It was my first trial and it was definitely intense but that’s what I liked about it, because you can’t predict how things will go but the point of a lawyer is to convince people to believe what you do,” admitted sophomore Lydia Mayenge.

“It was pretty interesting; I think civil cases aren’t as fun as like murder cases, but it was fun… I would do it again,” freshman Miranda Flores exclaimed.

Sophomore Luke Keith commented about the case saying, “This year’s case was a little boring, but it does rely heavily on numbers. It’s a civil case so that makes sense.”

Civil cases usually refer to a conflict between one group and another. [1] An example of this would be a landlord and tenant dispute. [2] On the other hand, criminal cases involve a person’s offense to the state or federal government. [1] Homicide, theft, and possession of drugs would be considered criminal cases. [3]

All of the participating students have been diligent to be their best with the case. Day commented, “Some of the students involved in the club work very hard indeed, on analyzing the case, researching the legal terminology, and trying to poke holes in the arguments presented by both sides of the case.

Mayenge explained, “We studied our affidavits and our roles, we practiced, and made sure we knew what to do.”

“I did not sleep for hours on end to prepare for this case… going over everything in the rule book. It was pretty tedious but we ended up tying up the case,” Keith stated.

Flores shared, “I reviewed my notes, and practiced with other members.”

Mock Trial is a great club to join for many reasons. It helps people to become familiar with how real courtrooms work, public speaking, presenting, and problem solving. “Being a part of this club has helped students get over fears of public speaking, and remarked how much more confident this experience will make the new members,” Day added.

The students have done well for the first few trials they have already completed. But as students work, they will get progressively better, and more confident. Good luck to the Mock Trial club in the weeks ahead!

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/justice-studies/blog/civil-law-versus-criminal-law/

[2] http://www.civillawselfhelpcenter.org/self-help/getting-started/court-basics/56-types-of-cases

[3] http://www.hainesandyost.com/criminal-case-examples.aspx