Mock Trial makes it to State

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Decatur's mock trial team qualified for the state competition.

Siena Elliott

This past weekend Decatur High School’s Mock Trial team won the Dekalb County District Competition at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville Georgia.

This competition was comprised of the top three teams from each region competition (in which DHS also won first place) and was a knockout round in which the two winning teams from the previous rounds went head to head in a final match.

From the district competition, attorney awards were given to senior lawyers Jenna Hanes (2) and Noemi Griffin (1) and junior Terryl Cronic (1). Witness awards were given to seniors Katy Lyle (2) and Alex Cummings and junior Siena Elliott (1). The Decatur High School Mock Trial team will proceed to the state competition on March 14.

The Mock Trial team is split into two different groups when it comes to competition, plaintiff and defense. Each side consists of three attorneys (lawyers) and three witnesses:

For the plaintiff:                                                               For the defense:

– Jenna Hanes (senior lawyer)                                    – Noemi Griffin (senior lawyer)

– Bryson Jones (junior lawyer)                                   – Terryl Cronic (junior lawyer)

– Maligha Cooper (freshman lawyer)                    – Sophie Ledden (junior lawyer)

– Katy Lyle (senior witness)                                        – Alex Cummings (senior witness)

– Bryce Holden (senior witness)                               – Siena Elliott (junior witness)

– Jimmy O’Connor (junior witness)                         – Alexander Hollins (sophomore witness)

At the beginning of the season, every team in the U.S. is given the same case that they must learn as if they were going to court in real life. From this case, the story line is developed as well as witness statements and evidence are provided.

The lawyers then must create a theme for the each side, opening and closing statements, and a direct and cross for their chosen witness. The witnesses choose a role and learn their statement as well as any relevant evidence for their side. This case this practiced over and over so that in competition each student is prepared for anything that another team throws at them.

In competition, the teams are separated into plaintiff and defense and then preform the case against the plaintiff or defense of an apposing team.

Each student is graded off a point system and in the end, the winner is decided based on the amount of points for each team, rather than a judges verdict.

Decatur’s Mock Trial team moves on to state on March 14.