Mock Trial teams starts competition season 2-1

February 9, 2017 — by Cassandra King and Katherine Zhou

Mock Trial starts season off strong. 

Senior defense attorney Sarah Chang gave a passionate opening statement, reaching over to pat junior Stacey Chen’s shoulder, to the amusement of the scoring attorneys.

“Cameron Awbrey is not a human trafficker. She is simply a hardworking businesswoman,” Chang said of Chen, who played the defendant Cameron Awbrey.

The Mock Trial team started their season Jan. 31 against Downtown College Prep (DCP) Alum Rock in the their first of four matches, all held at the San Jose Superior Court. This year’s case is the People v. Awbrey, which covers human trafficking and false imprisonment.

The defense team and prosecution team each go through two trials, overseen by a judge and three scoring attorneys. If they win both rounds, the team will advance. The competition consists of a pretrial motion, opening statement, closing argument and direct and cross examinations, during which each side has a chance to present their case.

Although the judge ruled the defendant guilty on both counts, this didn’t affect the score, and the team went on to win the competition, 456-423, or 51.88 percent to 48.12 percent. Senior captain Jackie Han received the Most Valuable Participant award from the other team.

“Seeing Jackie do the closing and having that passion in her voice and talking to the scoring attorneys after really was heartwarming because I realized that this was my last year,” Chang said.

On the second day of trials, the defense team competed on Feb. 2 against Homestead and lost in a close match.

“I would describe the competition as a battle,” Han said. “Our opponent was very formidable, and they prepared very well, but we prepared very well too. There were objections and unexpected things happened, but I thought we handled it pretty well overall.”

But the team ran into an unforeseen obstacle during the second trial. When sophomore Ashley Feng asked for a timecheck before the direct examination of her last witness, she realized that she only had 30 seconds left, and that she was only able to ask one question. This lowered the team score significantly.

“I’ve never seen that happen before; we usually have one minute,” Han said.

The team ended up losing the second competition 482-425, or 53.14 percent to 46.86 percent.

“We’ve been practicing every week since September. We felt very rehearsed before the trial, and I felt like we gave our very best during the trial, so I’m very satisfied with how we did,” Chen said.

Even though the defense team did not advance, Han appreciates the changes in team dynamics.

“I think we’re really one team this year. In previous years, the team     wasn’t very united; defense and prosecution helped stage their own people,” Han said. “This year we’re very supportive and lots of people from prosecution come to see our competitions.”

The prosecution faced off against Los Altos on Feb. 7, and beat them 456-401, or 53.21 percent to 46.79 percent. Freshman Siva Sambasivan, the pretrial attorney, received the Most Valuable Participant award from the opposing team.

“It’s definitely a case of ‘practice paying off,’” prosecution attorney and team captain Isabelle Tseng said. “Our witnesses gave really good answers on cross, which you can’t always anticipate. Opening and closing felt like they went really well, and overall, it felt really solid today.”

4 views this week