Mock Trial

CJ’s Mock Trial "Green Team" earned the right to advance to Regional competition after placing as a top team in the Montgomery County District competition, held January 30. Twenty-three students on three different Eagle teams have been preparing since October for the competition held in the Montgomery County Courthouse.

In the competition, teams of four students serve as either the plaintiff or defense in a mock trial. Each trial lasts 2 hours and three judges score each trial. This year, the trial was based on the 8th amendment “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

CJ’s Green Team (pictured in Community Update header) was one of the top seven teams out of 20 that will complete at the Regional level on February 20th. Team members include Defense attorneys Ashley Huffman '15 and Nick Nevius '15, Defense Witnesses Kat Dranchak '16 and Jacob Troutwine '17, Plaintiff attorneys Will Huffman '16 and Elizabeth Sinnathamby '15, and Plaintiff witnesses Margot Duffy '15 and Allison Huffman '16.

“Mock Trial is a great opportunity to learn about the legal system and meet new people,” Ashley Huffman said. “We spent a lot of time together preparing and we had three strong teams at the competition. I am so excited that the team tripled in size since last year and we are able to continue to learn more when we move on to Regionals.”

Kat Dranchak, Bella Peters and Holly Siefert were awarded “Outstanding Witness” in their respective court cases.

“This is my first year with Mock Trial, and I feel like it has been a very enriching experience, especially in learning about the legal system,” Kat Dranchak said. “I am excited to advance to Regionals, and I feel like all of our hard work has paid off, especially after beating a tough team in the District Competition.”

The teams were advised by Tony Riccuto, social studies teacher, and attorneys Chris Hollon, Chris Herman, and Kathryn Huffman.

This is the second year for Mock Trial at CJ since it was re-introduced as a program last year. More about the program can be read in the Community Update  "Mock Trial Makes Its Return-Again."

"I think a lot of television shows tend to show that being part of the legal system is only about courtroom arguments (which is sometimes true), but the Mock Trial program helped me see just how much work is also involved in studying and preparing for a case," Jacob Troutwine said. "I think that the experience is enriching, and greatly helps me both understand the legal system better, and also appreciate it more."

There will be a three-day Mock Trial Seminar this summer for incoming freshman through seniors. Anyone interested in learning more about this opportunity should email Tony Ricciuto.

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