Saturday, March 13, 2010

Deserved Thanks

Thanks to Mr. Randy Lish, who as our real-life attorney coach was available to answer questions and who took time to come to a couple of our meetings to listen to the students, make suggestions, and teach them about how our legal system works.  Attorney coaches play an important role for mock trial teams as they teach and guide while the student teams do the actual work of building their own cases. 

Thank you to our school administration for all your support. 

Thank you to Mr. Wicks for sharing from a grant funds that allow us to register each year, and for loaning us his calculators.  (I will get them back to you, Ron!)

Thank you, Terese, for making our name tags!

A special thank you to the parents who support their children in this activity, and who come when they can to see our competitions -- and who loan each other change for  parking meters.   I thank you, too,  for raising such great kids!

Thank you to teachers who are patient with students who didn't get quite get their homework done because they were writing an opening or closing statement or questions or studying a witness statement, and who missed class to participate in competitions.

Thanks to Gayle Hansen who allowed the Mock Trial kids to split after-school time between mock trial practice and play practice.

Thanks, Fantasy Writers, for sharing the classroom on Wednesdays!

Thanks, Celeste, for doing such a fine job as a sub while I was at competitions.

Thank you to Utah Law Related Education for providing this wonderful opportunity for students throughout the state.  Their stated purpose is

To provide law related and citizenship education for Utah's youth and communities through interactive educational experiences and curricula which foster in them an understanding of the law, the legal system, and their rights and responsibilities as engaged citizens.
You can visit their web site at

Mock Trial Outcome

On Friday, in a competition at the Salt Lake Justice Court, the other team (Christian Heritage in Riverton) won by points, and  we won the case.  Our defendant was not proven guilty of negligently causing an accident by texting while driving, and will not have to pay damages to the plaintiff. 

Our congratulations to Christian Heritage.  They did a fine job, and we enjoyed playing against them.  It was an exciting trial.

Our team members (seventh and eighth graders) were amazing.  They outshone the other team in understanding procedure and many fine points of the case.  Our student attorneys were knowledgeable and daring in making objections.  They knew how to introduce evidence and impeach a witness.  They had written opening and closing statements, questions for direct and cross examinations, and prepared their witnesses.  

The witnesses had learned the material in lengthy witness statements,  prepared themselves to be an eighteen-year-old defendant, a police officer, and an emergency room doctor, and had contributed greatly to building our case. 

Our bailiff was prepared to swear in witnesses, time each part of the trial, and assist the judges in whatever ways they requested (which is different with each set of judges). 

They all presented themselves professionally and with civility.

These students responded with flexibility and a willingness to take on new challenges when two of our four student attorneys had to drop out in the last week because of illness and family needs.  Attorneys redistributed jobs and took on extra responsibilities.  A student who had never participated in Mock Trial nor seen the case materials stepped in to become one of our witnesses. 

We can be so proud of our American Fork Junior High Mock Trial team.

On February 25 our team was the plaintiff team, and switched to become the defense team on March 12.

Our attorneys at  this March 12 trial:
Boa B. -- He was an attorney in both trials and took on extra duties when needed at the last minute for this trial.
Jessica J. -- She was an attorney in both trials and took on extra duties when needed at the last minute for this trial.
Morgan L. -- He was an attorney in the last trial, had prepared to be a witness in this trial, but again became an attorney at the last minute.

Our witnesses at the March 12 trial:
Mary A. as the defendent, Riley Garner --  She was our bailiff in our first competition.
Lincoln G. as the police officer, Adrian Knight -- He first saw the materials two days before this trial.
Rebekah M. as the emergency room doctor, Dr. Courtney Baston --  She played a witness for the plaintiff (an accident reconstructionist) in our first trial.

As bailiff  at the March 12 trial:
Kelsy F.  -- She was a witness for the plaintiff (an eyewitness of the accident) in our first trial.

Thanks and praise also go to
Elizabeth C. who was an attorney in our first trial.
Sarah W. who played a witness (the plaintiff) in our first trial.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Junior High Scores

To see the scores throughout the state, including ours, go to

The shaded lines indicate teams that will most likely go on to semi-finals. 

If we win. . .

quarter finals are March 22, 23, and 24 with semi-finals on March 26th.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 12 Defense Roster

Defense Team Roster

Utah Mock Trial Program

DATE:            March 12, 2010
TIME:             1:00 -
LOCATION:   Salt Lake Justice Court  Courthouse Courtroom 5

 TEAM # 1
Teacher/Sponsor             Claudia Dorsey

Attorney Coaches    Randy Lish

Defense Team Members

Student Attorneys            Duties to be Performed

1.   Boa                  Opening Statement/Direct of Riley Gardner/ Cross of Peyton Larson       
2.   Morgan            Direct  of Dr. Courtney Baston /Cross of C.J. Simpson
3.   Jessica               Direct of Adrian Knight/Cross of  Sydney Young /Closing Statement

Witness #1      Mary     as  Riley Gardner
Witness #2      Lincoln      as  Adrian Knight
Witness #3     Rebecca     as  Dr. Courtney Baston
 Bailiff            Kelsy