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Mock Trial 2017

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Autumn practice trials for Oak Hills High School’s Speech and Debate Mock Trial team has come to its verdict. The Mock Trial team has been practicing at various courthouses across the San Bernardino County. They have been preparing since September all the way through October each learning and developing their case that they have been assigned. The Mock Trial team finally got the chance to put their skills to the test when they competed in their first ever case.

Senior Cobey Caunan who played the pretrial attorney for the Mock Trial team, talked about how his practices went. “Preparation was a lot of hours of studying cases and case law, also amendments as well as my witness statement.”

Mock Trial is a relatively new concept to OHHS as this is the first year of Mock Trial competing. Mock Trial meets every Monday and Wednesday at classroom D-20 led by English and AVID teacher, Jennifer Boulanger, to practice their individual role. Many of the roles include the bailiff, attorney, witnesses and defendants. When competing, each person will play the role assigned to them and be awarded points based on the evidence they provide. Alyssa Gonzales, OHHS junior, who played the witness for Mock Trial said her role required “a lot of going over [her] questions and responses.”

Mock Trials follow a very formal procedure. Everything is played out similarly to an actual trial. The format has each attorney state their case and evidence and fights for the side assigned to them. After the jurors have listened to both cases, they will decide if the defendant is guilty or innocent. The team that wins, however, is not decided by who wins the case but rather by the judges who are accumulating points for each team based on the evidence and case they build. 

Junior Brandon Bullock commented, “We did well; the other teams were okay, they tried the intimidation factor and it didn’t work.”

Mock Trial came from their first season winning two rounds out of the four rounds they competed in. The official Mock Trial season for 2017 is currently over, but tryouts are expected in the Spring season of 2018.

Photo provided by Jeni Boulanger.

The Defense Team of the OHHS Mock Trial team.

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