By Mary Austin
The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Mock Trial team finished their season on March 26, with a 4-1 record, and ranked within the top four of the county. Club adviser and social studies teacher Leo Brown is pleased with the success of the team because they were “great” all throughout the season. The Mock Trial team beat Chittenango, Jordan Elbridge, and Liverpool and was eliminated during the county semi-finals, losing to Cazenovia. Many members are extremely happy about their past season when it comes to wins and losses. Sophomore Lauren Nandel says that even though they lost, “Cazenovia was a worthy opponent.”
During the year, Mock Trial teams from all over the county compete using the same fictional case that the New York Bar Association gives to them, which is based off of a real case. The team is assigned roles, divides into an A and B team, then rehearses their roles as prosecutor, witness or defense for months in activity period every Wednesday, and also on the weekends. Senior Sarah Young was a defense attorney, Senior Marian Maxwell was a prosectur, senior Samantha Jaffe was defense attorney, and senior Patrick Saba was also defense attonrey.The Mock Trial team prepares the case to competition standard and performs against other schools in the county. “You are given three guaranteed trials, then the (single) elimination rounds happen,” says Mr. Brown. The winner of the section is the team that did the most precise re-enactment of the trial.
Nandel, who played witness Casey Cheatham in the trial, says the Mock Trial team has made her “more comfortable with her speaking skills” especially while talking to older adults, or adults in general. Sophomore Elena Haarer, who acted as a defense attorney in the trial, says that the mock trial team has given her a sense of working together because the competition is “team based.”
Freshman Michale Schueler, who also played wittness Casey Cheatham, will definitely be a part of it next year because it has really helped her “understand what goes on in court.” Nandel agrees with Schueler and will be a part of the team again next year, for her third year on the team. Nandel especially likes how “there isn’t so many people apart of the team, you get to know all of the members really well.”