No Denial for Mock Trial


On February 7, the St. Dominic Mock Trial team heated up the courtroom as they took on the Marquand Mock Trial team. The copyright infringement case was no match for the SDHS students, who won three awards and a well-deserved trip to regionals.

This year’s copyright infringement case was about whether a popular jazz song was similar to another punk-funk song. With St. Dominic on their second trial of the year, their plaintiff team was ready to pound the ground.

After attorney Abbey Jennings delivered the powerful opening statement, the Marquand team had no shot of winning this case. The SDHS plaintiff was sure to prove the song was similar.

“The opening statement is one of the most important components of any trial. It is your first opportunity to present the case to the jury, and to shape the jury’s perspective of the entire trial,” said junior Abbey Jennings.

Mock Trial is no easy task. Each case takes weeks of practice and breaking down each bit of information. The SDHS team spends countless hours making sure each word is dissected, and each role of the case is assigned to the best fit person.

“Sometimes I feel like I spend more time on Mock Trial than I do sleeping. Preparing a case is very difficult, especially on a time crunch! Also, after you spend weeks on the defense or plaintiff side, switching to the other side is difficult because you are essentially playing devil’s advocate with yourself,” said Jennings.

Besides being an attorney, there are other positions to be filled. Witnesses are the main focal point of a case. When being cross examined and put on the stand, their position is a make or break for the team.

“The witness process is very fast paced, thinking on your feet. When you are getting examined by the lawyers on the other team, you have no idea what they are going to ask you,” said junior Timothy Bone, who is playing the role of Pat Smith.

The show doesn’t go on without the intensive help of the mock trial coaches, Mr. Jason Asher and Mr. Adam Kuebler. They spend a multitude of time and energy to make sure their team is caught up and well on their feet.

“Mr. Kuebler and I help construct the most convincing cases possible. We help construct lines of questioning, focus on the jury instructions for what we are trying to prove and why they must rule in our favor and practice, practice, practice,” said Asher.

Mr. Asher and Mr. Kuebler, along with real life lawyers, work to make sure each and every argument is backed up with solid information. Even with all of the help and time, Mock Trial is no easy feat.

“The hardest part about mock trial is probably all the time we put in. We have over 10 people that make up our team and getting every single one of them to be able to meet before school, during Empower Hour and after school is a very tough task,” said Bone.

With the team heading to regionals with five out of six ballots by the judges, we can tell the hard work paid off. With the vigorous hours and excruciating breakdown of each piece of information, victory is worth it all.

“The most rewarding part about this club would be seeing it all come together into a show. A few months back we got a big case about copyright infringement, and now we have two detailed outlined cases with lively characters, intricate themes, affidavit and interesting strategies we didn’t have when we first read it. It’s really cool to see it come to life in the courtroom,” said Jennings.

After their huge win, St. Dominic currently ranks in twelfth place, but they need a top 10 finish to travel to the state trial. The SDHS Mock Trial team will surely bring their “A” game against SLUH and Principia on February 27 and March 1. Come on out to watch them defeat their opponents. There is no objection that they will do great!