Mock trial season comes to a close

February 22, 2010 — by Saniha Shankar

As the courtroom bailiff swore in the witnesses one by one, each team member was put on the spot to see if their three months of hard work would pay off. On Feb. 2, 4, 9 and 11, the mock trial team competed in the county competition held at the Santa Clara Courthouse.

Feb. 4 left the prosecution crossing their fingers as they ended with a tie against Palo Alto. The tie breaker went to Palo Alto as two of the three judges voted for the Palo Alto team. It was the first tie in almost 30 years of mock trial at Saratoga. Luckily, the defense team had secured a close win over Leland High School on Feb. 2, winning by a slight margin of 3 points.

The next week brought a heartbreaking loss to Mountain View for the prosecution, but defense closed the season with a strong 13-point win over Lincoln on Feb. 11. Although the team ended the season with a 2-1-1 record, it was not enough to advance to the quarterfinals.

This year the team welcomed seven new members to the team, most of whom were cast as witnesses. Both pre-trial attorneys, however, were new to the mock trial scene. Junior Synthia Ling and Senior Girish Swaminath took on the pre-trial roles—often said to be the hardest as it involves giving a speech to and answering the questions of an actual judge. Pre-trial often establishes an early lead, or loss, for the team as the score is multiplied by three.

“It was a lot of work in the beginning but, by the end, it was a lot of fun,” said Ling. “I learned so much and I definitely am looking forward to next year.”

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