Mock Trial Teams Compete in Flagstaff

By Alexandre DuBroy

On March 1st, 2014, both of Tri-City’s Mock Trial teams competed at the Flagstaff Superior Courthouse. The day long competition began at eight o’clock in the morning and ran until about five-thirty in the evening. This was the mock trial regional competition, and more than ten teams from across Northern Arizona participated. The competition was judged by actual Judges and a few lawyers from the Flagstaff area.

The competition ran much like an actual court case, including openings, closings, direct and cross examinations, and all the other facets of a real world case. Students had to masterfully display their skills and understanding of court procedure, including the federal laws of evidence and how to properly make an objection. Students had only thirty-five minutes to present their side of the case, and each case was seventy minutes long.

The case that students put on is a full case, presented via court documents to students. The documentation is written by a team of lawyers, and they carefully craft the hundred page, double sided document. This year’s case covered a high school student who suspected that someone had been spying on him through his school issued computer. 

Dr. Halvorson, who has helped coach the Mock Trial teams for some years now, said that the case had “lots of relation to the tech world of today” and that it was eerily “similar to the programs that TCP has, and it is a relevant topic.”

The teams went up to Flagstaff the night before the competition so they could get up bright up and early. They stayed at a rental cabin, which comfortably fitted the almost twenty students and chaperones. Chaperones included Dr. Halvorson, who has helped the club in the past few years; Ms. Schaibly, who has generously provided help with the club; and Mitch Padilla, the lawyer coach who has been instrumental in the club. Mock Trial sends out a major thank you to everyone who has helped the teams through the years.

Rachelle ‘Shelli’ Thompson, who has been part of Mock Trial since it began four years ago, said that she was “really glad to be a part of the competition and to have been able to be here and have a lot of fun with students through the years.”

A small crisis did occur during the trial when the advanced team losing two of its members at lunch due to medical problems. Although the team was gloomy at first, it pulled together, and made up for the loss of its members.

At the competition, the teams each participated in four trials, twice as defense and twice as the plaintiff. Both teams performed well, although neither placed in the top four and therefore could not advance to state. However, a student from the advanced team, Alexandre DuBroy, made the All Regionals team, which was composed of the eight best lawyers from the more than one hundred participating students.

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