Prosecution round – check. Defense round – now also check. After witnessing their teammates on the prosecution side battle against another school Nov. 4, the defense team waited nervously for their trial. Finally Round 2 came, and the team headed back to the Los Angeles Superior Court to compete on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The Mock Trial team is divided into two sides: one presents the prosecution side of the case, and the other side presents the defense. They read about the case in a thorough packet, working hard to not overlook anything in order to be fully prepared for the trials. Each side of the team presents its side of the case during separate trials against other schools. Despite being on different sides of the case, Archer students from the defense accompanied the prosecution during round 1, just as some members of the prosecution went as supportive teammates during this second round.
The prosecution argued the case against fictional student Rae Concha, who was charged with the second-degree murder of Jason Johnson, and the defense fought to prove him not guilty. (For more details of the case, refer back to the article about the Prosecution trial.) Names in the case like Rae, Alex, Avery and Robin were unisex so that they could be played by a girl or boy by each participating school.
The participating schools congratulated students who they felt were the best during each round with a certificate. In the first round, Bhujit Saini ’14 earned the certificate after presenting her role as a lawyer during the trial and delivering an impressive closing statement. In the second trial, the defendant was well played by senior Grace Piccard ’14, who also earned a certificate from the other school.
The trials were judged in two ways: scoring attorneys score each team with points and provide feedback, and a judge who gives a final verdict. In the Nov. 4 trial, the prosecution scored 138 points, while the other school scored 144 points. At this Nov. 12 trial, the defense scored a total of 162 points, while the opposing school scored 164 points. The judge said to have seen the defendant as not guilty of both charges – second degree murder and possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, Adderall.
Both trials were close and demonstrated weeks of hard work. Some Mock Trial members even hope to become real lawyers in the future.
Each team member presented their case well with the help of attorney coach Maurice Pessah and club adviser Shane Berning, and, as Mr. Berning put it: “Keep Calm and Mock On!”
Featured Image: The Mock Trial defense team. Photograph provided by Shane Berning.