Mock trial team schedules competition

Event simulates and recreates criminal trial, moderator says

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Zoey Johnston

Mr. Craig Blanchet serves as the faculty moderator of the mock trial team.

Zoey Johnston, Reporter

The mock trial team will participate in the Regional competition on Feb. 20.

The team is composed of 10 members, with each playing a different role. Those roles include a defense team, a prosecution team, witnesses and a timekeeper. This year, the case is about an alleged arsonist, according to social studies teacher Mr. Craig Blanchet, who serves as the mock trial team’s faculty moderator.

Blanchet said, “(The competition) is really about simulating and recreating what a trial looks like.” For example, the witnesses follow a script, and the timekeeper is there to make sure they stay on track and don’t go on for too long. At most, each trial can last three hours, and there are three rounds of trials for each competition.

Judges evaluate the team’s performance in the mock trial. It doesn’t matter if a team wins its case, but it is really about participating and acting, especially with the witnesses. Blanchet said, “Mock trial is a mix of about 80% learning how to practice or present a real court case, and 20% of theater, especially for the witnesses.”

The competition will take place over Zoom this year because of Covid-19, but everything else should be similar to normal mock trial events. Before the competition, the team will meet for a dress rehearsal to prepare, then go straight to competition.

Depending on the number of schools competing and how well they do, the team may go on to State competition.

Blanchet said, “People that are interested in speech or debate or those considering law school, this is a good way to develop those skills and see if you have a passion for it.”

Mock trial team members who are expected to participate in the Feb. 20 competition include Matthew Fiedeldey, Nathaniel Hillenburg and Connor Gianoli (attorneys for the prosecution), Liam Eifert, Claire Miller and Ana Lim (attorneys for the defense), Aidan Betts, Joseph Mariani and Brooklyn Thorpe (witnesses) and Chloe Miller (timekeeper).