Monday, February 4, 2019

Mock Trial Team Prepares for Competition

Attorneys for prosecution and defense

Mr. Hampton, sitting next to a student role playing the defendant,  plays judge at mock trial practice while offering mentorship and direction to students
In addition to learning more about the legal system and allowing students to engage in trials, participating on the mock trial team gives students an opportunity to practice public speaking, critical thinking, and teamwork.
"Objection, Your Honor"

Recognizing a gap between the legal system and citizens, a group of Chester County attorneys formed the Chester County Bar Foundation in 1985. According to their website, the Foundation's goal, then and now, is to fund initiatives which strengthen the ties between the residents of Chester County and the justice system. One initiative of the Chester County Bar Foundation is to fund Mock Trial Competitions. The mock trial events are for students on Mock Trial teams in Chester County to compete in a county-wide competition. The winner of this competition moves on to the state competition. Bar Association members volunteer to sit as an imitation Judge and jurors.


Owen J. Roberts High School Mock Trial Team has Mr. Keith Morris as advisor. The team gets support and assistance from members of the community including attorneys Mr. Warren Hampton and Mrs. Heather McCreary, who offer their time and talents to coach students in learning how to hone attorney and trial skills. Students receive a problem (case) in early November. They go to work as both defense and prosecuting attorneys to create a line of questions for the provided witnesses as well as persuasive statements to the jury. There are twelve students on a mock trial team. Half are attorneys and half are witnesses. Students who take the role of witnesses need to memorize their part.


In addition to preparation, role-playing attorneys need to gain confidence thinking on their feet. They need to understand how to lay foundations for their line of questioning as well as find objections to opposing counsel. The case Owen J. Roberts students were given to practice was a potential malpractice against a doctor for prescribing opioids for pain management.
Mrs. McCreary coaches prosecuting attorneys

Witness reviews piece of evidence

A student gives witness testimony

Defense examines a witness during practice

Attorney for the prosecution of the mock case during a practice

Owen J. Roberts Mock Trial Team is made up of students in all four grades at the high school:

Mokhallalati
Nadia
Lasmanis
Ava
Smith
Sydney
Damiani
Theo
Apte
Sharvari
Panday
Vidisha
Jachowski
Hannah
Longworth
Kiersten
Friel
Maddie
Kurth
Grayson
DeFusco
Taryn
DeFusco
Sam
Jennings
Lindsey

The mock trial competition team competes at the Chester County Courthouse today, February 4 and tomorrow, February 5.
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