It’s Labor Day. Hundreds of military personnel and their families are boarding a Washington State Ferry. A truck bomb is driven onto the ferry by a government agent. There is a man waiting at a coffee shop with a detonator. Is this the work of a dangerous citizen who hates the government, or is it the government that is responsible for putting this bomb onto the ferry? Our Mock Trial teams had to build their cases and prepare their witnesses (students performing as characters from the case) in order to convince a jury of their side of the story. Mock Trial involves courtroom etiquette, acting, speech and debate tactics, and deep analysis of fictional court cases.
This year, Seattle Academy’s Mock Trial “A Team” (mostly experienced seniors) made it all the way to the State Championship in Olympia, and won 10th place out of 22 teams from across Washington. These seniors included Elif Koc, Alice Flood, Andrea Jewett, Sally Slade, Brynn Arborico, Lucas Trautman, McKenzie Smith, and Jackson Lanning. The “B Team” also did well at their district competition, but did not place high enough to gain a spot in the state competition.
In the State tournament, Elif Koc won an award for playing a French linguistics expert. To prepare for the competition, Elif performed with a full French accent she mastered with help from French teacher Françoise Deeg-Legal.
Alice Flood’s opening statement was supremely influential and set her and her team up to do well in their cross and direct examinations.
A reliable witness on the stand as well as a realistic lawyer, Andrea Jewett, delivered a fantastic opening statement and was a big help in the team’s impressive run at state.
Sally Slade applied her years of acting to the complex characters she played in the trial, using her stone-cold replies to bring down a few opposing lawyers.
Brynn Arborico was known as the case law expert, memorizing the specific set of details that comes with the case and applying them perfectly in her written work, such as her pre-trial motion.
Lucas Trautman, who enrolled in Mock Trial for the first time as a senior, took well to the courtroom environment and won an award for playing a key witness for the prosecution side of the trial.
McKenzie Smith was a convincing witness who manipulated the jury into wholeheartedly believing her side of the story.
Finally, Jackson Lanning, who performed as a defense lawyer, gave a compelling closing statement that helped fuel tremendous accomplishments that he and his team made.
For some seniors it was their first time while others have been doing Mock Trial since freshman year. Whether new to the team or a veteran, everyone contributed to the A team’s 10th position at the State Championship!
Mock Trial is an elective class offered each year for all grades in the Fall and Winter trimesters. If you wish to portray a lawyer, you should apply for both the Fall and Winter classes. If you would like to play the part of a witness, you only need to apply to the Winter trimester class. Since these seniors have made their last objections and tasted victory one last time before leaving, we hope that new members will join and help fill their shoes in the upcoming year.
(And yes, we have Cheeze-its and Wheat Thins.)