DHS mock trial team wins first competition of the year


Decatur’s mock trial defense team after competing in their first competition of the year. From left to right, Lauryn Williams, Rebecca Rayburn, Nayeli Shad, Daxton Pettus, Seth Bellenguezclark, Alexis Siegler and Connor Coltrane. 

On Feb. 2, the Dekalb County courthouse was full of ongoing trials and debating high school students. Students played the role of attorneys, witnesses, timekeepers and court artists as they argued against other schools and presented a case before a judge. After a make-up round took place on Wednesday the 6th, Decatur’s mock trial team won first place.

“I’m really proud of our team,” sophomore defense attorney Rebecca Rayburn said. “We’ve been practicing really hard these past few months and I’m looking forward to seeing how we do in the upcoming competitions.”

The case switches from criminal to civil each year. This year’s civil case focused on whether or not a client is entitled to their lottery winnings despite having little evidence to prove that they participated in the lottery.

“I had a few setbacks in the days leading up to the competition but thankfully everything worked out and I’m really proud of how I did,” Rayburn said.

The team practices with real attorneys who help coach students through their arguments.

“The attorneys are really helpful. They have a lot to teach us and you can tell that they really care about what they’re doing,” sophomore defense attorney Lauryn Williams said. “Without them, I think our team would have a much harder time at competitions.”

As a result of Decatur’s win at the courthouse, the mock trial team will advance to districts on Jan. 22. From there, the team will argue for a chance to make it to the statewide competition later in the year.