Keep Calm and Mock Trial On

via CBSD

via CBSD

Kathryn Wang, Staff Writer

“Your Honor. May it please the Court.” The judge sits high at the bench as the jury waits for the plaintiff to present its opening statement. The lawyers on both sides take a seat at their respective tables, listening to the start of the trial. The witnesses sit on each side, ready to give their testimonies.

These lawyers and witnesses are high school students participating in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Mock Trial Competition. We’ve all seen law dramas on TV, but what does it really take to win a case? The Pennsylvania Bar Association Mock Trial Competition gives over 290 high schools in the state the chance to act as lawyers and witnesses in a simulated court case in a real courtroom setting. The jurors (professional lawyers) judge each person based on his or her presentation skills and knowledge of the provided case and Mock Trial rules. The competition is divided into Districts, Regionals, and States, with the winning school representing Pennsylvania at Nationals.

Central Bucks South certainly has a successful Mock Trial team. The team consists of six lawyers and six witnesses (three lawyers and witnesses on each side). Shadow members can also provide input in the case theories and help with things like timekeeping. Previously the CB South Mock Trial team has won second in districts and has reached the semifinals of regionals twice. With the guidance of Mr. Shaffer, a professional attorney, and South teachers Mrs. Brouda and Mrs. Hutchinson, the team is improving every year. CB South’s three senior captains, Kyle Putnam, Zac Druce, and Michael Kaplan, have also helped to lead South’s Mock Trial team to much triumph.

At the LaSalle Blue & Gold Mock Trial Invitational, South’s Mock Trial team performed extremely well. The team’s defense side won in the first trial of the day, and the plaintiff side won the second and third trials against other competitive high school teams. At the end of the competition, CB South placed third out of over thirty teams, taking home an impressive victory.

At the regional competition, Central Bucks South’s Mock Trial team won its first two trials, advancing to the semifinals. In a close competition, CB South lost in the semifinals, ending the season. However, South’s team is continually improving and will strive to get even farther in the competition next year.

If any students are interested in joining CB South’s Mock Trial team next year, tryouts are held in the beginning of each school year. Mock Trial is an excellent way to learn more about the legal system and improve public speaking skills. Join the real CBSMT as they take on victory once again next year!