Senior Mock Trial Gold Team takes first at Regionals, eighth at State

The senior Mock Trial Team (Gold) won first place at Regionals on March 2, and advanced to State where they placed eighth.  Along with the seniors, the junior team also competed at Regionals and placed seventh.

“We are so proud to place first and make it to State,” Renee Layoun, junior, said.

The teams competed at the Clackamas County Courthouse for Regionals participating in three rounds. The first two were against Lake Oswego, and the third against Lakeridge.  The Gold Team consists of Adam Lee, Allisen Haggard, Mary Earp, Lacey Gunther, Megan Mueller, Oliver Muggli, Emily Art, seniors,  and Layoun.

According to Layoun, the Gold Team has become a very strong team with a passion for law pushing them toward success.

“This year, we have grown so much as a team. After Empire [an international competition in New York] in the fall, we are so much closer and definitely act as a team,” Layoun said.

For Regionals and State, the cases chosen for teams to present are based off of real life cases. The Gold Team was given a case about an honor society’s pledge master charged with second degree manslaughter and hazing. This is due to a pledge death during one of the games, Water Jeopardy, that the society had played.

The teams prepared to represent both sides, prosecution and defense.

For Regionals, each team received its case in the middle of December and prepared and practiced with it up until the competition. The teams practiced twice a week and a group of attorneys and coach, consisting of Matt Kellogg, law teacher and founder of the Mock Trial team, help the two teams create drafts and become better witnesses and lawyers.

Two weeks before a competition, practices occur four days a week, and one week before the trial, the teams do constant re-runs of the case that they are going to argue.

“For upcoming competitions we practice a lot. We go over our materiel many times with different teams,” Rachel Dawson, sophomore from the junior team, said.

Both teams consist of eight people, with four for prosecution and four for defense.

“Since there are four of us on prosecution and four of us on defense, we each prepare either an opening statement, direct examinations, cross examinations, or closing argument,” Layoun said. “ We are also each other’s witnesses. We pretty much model lawyers presenting a case in front of a jury.”