Saturday, March 13, 2010

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.

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