J-D Mock Trial is Far from a Joke

By Angela Bussone and Joe Kiesa

Staff Writers

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Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s Mock Trial team certainly laid down the gavel this year. The team won five of their six contests on the year. “We were defeated by (Fayetteville-Manlius High School) in the county finals,” said junior Patrick Saba. Despite not repeating an appearance at the county finals, the team was pleased with their season.

According to social studies teacher Leo Brown, Mock Trial’s adviser,  the “star attorneys” and leaders of the team were senior Bryce Nandal and junior Marion Maxwell. Nandal said they got as far as he wanted, but because they put in a lot of time this year he believes they could have gone farther. “The season went really well, even (though) half of the team members are brand new this year,” said Maxwell. Junior prosecutors Josh Rothenburg and Sam Griffiths both agree with Maxwell that they did really well considering that half of their team graduated last year. “Like half of our team was replaced. We didn’t do badly, but I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t win against F-M,” said Rothenburg.

To top off their season, the Mock Trial team was invited to take a field trip to Syracuse University to celebrate Law Day, on Friday, May 2.They were invited because of their great season. Law Day is a national event and there are many different celebrations of it all over the country. Here in Syracuse, “the celebration included a big lunch and an award ceremony where real lawyers went and received awards for the great things they have done,” says junior Samantha Jaffe. A few Mock Trial teams went and also received awards for making it far in the postseason, but J-DHS did not receive an award due to their loss in the regional final against F-M. Also some high schoolers from Marcellus had a debate there about voting online in political elections.

Mock Trial is a different form of competition, which includes performance and research. Each member of Mock Trial plays the part of either a defendant or a prosecutor for the entire season. There are three defendants and three prosecutors on each team, with an actual attorney as adviser. The New York State Bar Association makes up different circumstances for each trial that the members have to remember and perform, and each team is judged by either a real judge or attorney on how well they represented their case. The team that represented their case better wins. The team was extremely thankful for their attorney adviser, Bonnie Levy.