The St. Mary’s Mock Trial Club is an extracurricular program for students who are interested in law, court procedures and the legal system. Over the course of the program, students improve their reading, listening, speaking, and critical thinking skills through careful preparation and stimulating debate. Prior to competitions, teams receive that year’s case booklet, usually modeled after real-life civil or criminal cases. An attorney advisor and teacher moderator will assist students in understanding and applying the law, discussing facts and evidence, and formulating strategies.
During competitions, students will act as attorneys and witnesses, representing either the defense or plaintiff/prosecution. Competing students are responsible for presenting opening and closing statements, introducing evidence, memorizing witness affidavits, examining witnesses, and listening to opposing arguments.
Performances are evaluated and scored by a judge or an attorney. Each competition provides teams an opportunity to receive productive feedback and enhance future debates.
The 2017-2018 Mock Trial Case and Competition focused on distracted driving – a topic that yields 1.6 million car crashes a year due to cell phone use while driving. St. Mary’s Mock Trial Club was particularly successfully when arguing the case on behalf of the plaintiff, who alleged that as a result of the defendant’s negligence, was painfully injured in a collision. Our record this year was 5 wins and 5 losses.