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Mock Trial Gears Up for Competition

Blog entry by Upper School Social Studies Teacher Holly Ziemer

Since October, eight Evansville Day School students have been preparing to compete in the Evansville Regional Mock Trial Competition, scheduled for February 16, 2019 at the Vanderburgh County Courthouse. This is the first year that Evansville is hosting a regional mock trial competition, and EDS is pleased to be among the teams competing.

Alaina Clements, Duke Moosbrugger, and Amanda Wiley have been learning their roles as attorneys through writing and practicing direct and cross-examination questions, preparing and delivering opening and closing statements, and learning and applying the legal rules of evidence.

Ronyah Al-Abed, Abdallah Atia, Ashley Jorgensen, Scott Schultheis, and Lilly Shockley are portraying witnesses in the competition and have been crafting their testimony based upon the case materials provided by the Indiana Bar Foundation, which hosts the competition. The student attorneys and witnesses meet before school to practice presenting their case.

This year’s mock trial scenario is based upon a fictional civil action brought by a high school student against her school and one of its teachers. At competition, the EDS mock trial team will present both sides of the case - from the plaintiff’s perspective and the co-defendants’ perspectives - at least once during three rounds of the day-long competition. The proceedings will be presided over by a practicing judge, and the case will be decided by three practicing attorneys, who will act as jurors and score students’ performances.

Regional teams, including EDS, compete for an opportunity to advance to the state competition in Indianapolis in March. This year’s national mock trial competition will take place in Athens, Georgia in May. I am excited to report that Evansville will host the national mock trial competition next year!

EDS College Counselor (and soon-to-be law student) Heather Heck and I look forward to continuing to prepare EDS’s mock trial team (Team “All Deliberate Speed”). It has been especially meaningful to me to be able to utilize my background as a licensed, formerly-practicing attorney to guide students through this experiential learning endeavor.