Mock Trial season comes to a close

March 10, 2009 — by Pia Mishra and Saniha Shankar

Sophomore Navneet Ramesh’s hands trembled as he stood to give his pre-trial motion. With his one motion, the entire course of the trial could be changed. The Santa Clara County judge called for him to start, and he pushed in his chair, and began to argue. Intense moments like this were what students took away from the mock trial season.

Though mock trial team ended the season with a record of 2-2 and didn’t advance farther, the 24 participants gained new insights into the legal system.

“Even though we won’t be moving on to quarter finals in the tournament, I’m really happy about the amount of improvement in the team as a whole,” said co-captain senior Rishi Taggarsi.

The group worked with coaches to become a strong confident team, ready for competition. Three out of six attorneys from the previous year were seniors, which meant most of the attorneys this year would have to be people new to the program.

“Usually it’s the same people that come out and try out,” said co-captain Nikil Balakrishnan. “This year was different in that we had a lot of new faces and a lot of new talent added to the team.”

Attorney Coach Dr. Hugh Roberts trained the entire team on the routine of the trial and the rules of law. The witnesses also spent a lot of time with English teacher Bill Peck, who taught them how to get into character and become a believable witness. Peck’s previous acting experiences helped with the students develop their characters. The attorneys spent extra time with Roberts to master the fine techniques of questioning and objections. What started out as a team that was too scared to object became a team that was objecting too much.

Not only did the team grow in talent, but they also grew closer together.

“I really liked the team dinners,” said Ramesh. “It really helped us get to know one another.”

Competitions were finished off with dinners at Chipotle or Taco Bell. Rides home were filled with students joking and laughing off the day of competition.

“We all came a lot closer as the season went on,” said Taggarsi. “At the beginning we were learning as separate people, at the end, we were competing as a real team.

With their first match against Prospect, the Saratoga Prosecution team lost 244-255. In the second match on Feb. 5. the Saratoga Defense Team beat Monta Vista by 34 points. In the third round against Mountain View on Feb. 10, the Saratoga Prosecution Team lost 228-239. In the final round, the Saratoga’s Defense team beat Lincoln by 10 points with a score of 248-238.

As the season came to a close, many members are trying to plan ahead for next year. Seeing as there are only four seniors on the team, of whom were attorneys, the team will be fairly young, and have a lot to learn next year.

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