Mock Trial team weighs wins and losses

February 7, 2016 — by Cassandra King and Gwynevere Hunger

Mock trial team prepares for upcoming matches and reflects on past matches.

“Due to the facts presented to me in this case, I declare the defendant, Jamie Hayes, guilty,” the judge declared at the mock trial team’s first competition on Feb. 2.

That night the defense team lost the verdict but successfully won the jury’s decision against Willow Glen High School in a victory of 74.7 points to 72.3 points, resulting in 50.79 percent for Saratoga and 49.21 percent for Willow Glen. On Feb. 4, the defense team won the verdict for not guilty but lost the jury’s decision by 52.05 percent to 47.95 percent against Lynbrook High School at the Santa Clara County High School Mock Trial competition. The matches are held at the Santa Clara County Courthouse and include 16 schools.

If a school wins all four of their matches, two of which are done by the prosecution team and two by defense, then they proceed in the competition.

Since November, when the mock trial team first held auditions, it has been working hard on skills such as  memorizing, speaking and objecting. The week before the competition began, the team even practiced outside of normal practices, ensuring that they were prepared for every possible scenario.

“It was nerve-wracking at times, but we were able to get through it through strong teamwork,” said junior Ian Fu, who plays the part of a bailiff. “I feel that we gained a lot of experience from this.”

Since they do not find out who they are up against until closer to the competition date, the team feels more prepared by having four scrimmages under their belt, including one against Lynbrook. They have been able to learn from the other schools’ arguments and practice their objections.

Several members attribute the confidence of the team to the several scrimmages, but all agree that having Mary McDonnell as an attorney coach has helped this year.

“We could not have asked for a better adviser than Mrs. McDonnell,” Fu said. “Not only is she very confident but she also is extremely helpful.”

After these first two competitions, in which  the defense has lost one and won one, the prosecution team is looking forward to its  matches, confident in its skills and teamwork.

“We are going to be assisting one another because that’s what it’s really all about; we are a team,” said junior Peter Vandervort, who is a prosecution attorney.

Due to printing deadlines, the Falcon was unable to cover the matches on Feb. 9 against Los Altos, and another on Feb. 11.

1 view this week