Objection! Mock Trial Wins Defense Case


photo courtesy of Ms. Raymond

Pictured is Xmiena Rogers-Stamps, Bell Tucci, Alex Djetto, Momo Kikuchi, Jenna Hageman, Ava Bearskin, and Maichi Nguyen. Not pictured is Chris Dixon, Ava Reynolds, and Emma Schonhoff.

Ava Bearskin , Staff Writer

Pattonville High’s Mock Trial team recently had their first competition of the year, and they managed to win all three ballots available over Lindbergh High.
The team received a case file at the beginning of the year and have been working hard to sway the jury and judge in their favor. They were given a civil case in which a devastated mother is suing the company which owns the amusement park in which her son died.
Pattonville’s Mock Trial coach Ms. Raymond said the case is “a wrongful death case, but it involves comparative fault and requires students to analyze multiple potential causes for a teenager’s untimely death.”
This complication makes for an interesting and thought-provoking case for the Mock Trial students to learn about.
The first round of competitions decide if the teams go on to regionals or not. The team’s defense and plaintiff sides have to compete on separate occasions to see if they can prove their side of the case to the judge and jury. Each jury member and the judge have a ballot they fill out as they listen to the case that has scores for each section of the case. The side with the higher score on a ballot wins that ballot. Pattonville has won three ballots on their defense side and have yet to compete on the plaintiff side.
Coach of five years, Ms. Raymond used to be a trial lawyer and likes to share her knowledge with her students. She describes her coaching style: “I think I’m fairly easygoing as a coach. I hope to model my own interest for students and encourage them to take the reins and be creative in developing their own theories of the case. I try to provide constructive feedback without micromanaging.”
Ms. Raymond also teaches and coaches Pattonville’s debaters. She finds a lot of similarities between debate and mock trial. She pointed out that “both require an effective delivery, critical thinking, solid argumentation, and convincing character development.”
While the teams share some facets, other aspects set them apart. Ms. Raymond explains, “Mock trial is a team sport with a lot of moving parts. It requires getting everyone on the same page with respect to the same case. There are only two opportunities to present your case and qualify for advancement. In debate, everyone is working on different performances and there are many tournaments throughout the year.”
The Mock Trial team is primarily freshmen this year but the defense side’s win is helping to boost the team’s confidence and will hopefully help them in their future competitions. Their next competition is February 18.