S-GI mock trial team takes sixth place in local contest
The Springville-Griffith Institute High School Mock Trial Team faced some larger schools with more experienced teams but recently ranked its highest to date, achieving sixth place overall.
While the team’s funding was removed from the budget last year, the members received help from Judge Timothy Frank and Advisor John Sopko.
The same fictional case is used for all rounds and teams were divided into lawyers and witnesses with the opportunity to play defense and prosecution. Most of the competition was held at the University at Buffalo Law School.
“Teams are scored on presentation, expression, professionalism and manner. Students have to properly bring evidence to the court, object, respond, properly speak to the court, interview witnesses and perform cross-examinations of opponents. Witnesses must know their affidavits and lawyers must present an opening and closing argument,” Sopko explained.
Frank said, “These kids were juggling the musical, sports, jobs, volunteering and more, but they did a fantastic job and maintained their commitment to mock trial. I feel they were at a huge disadvantage with a bad case, but they were fantastic.”\
The only team member who plans to study law is Lindsey Hannon who said, “Mock trial is valuable for debate, public speaking, acting and the commitment. It is also a lot of fun.”