Mock Trial Competes In First Round

By claireboenitz

The mock trial team is new to FHN this year, with coaches Randy Pierce and Jordyn Klackner, as well as attorneys Phil Groenweghe and Emery Reusch, to prepare the

Mock trial coach Randy Pierce helps mock trial team members prepare for their first competition at practice. (photo by claire boenitz)
Mock trial coach Randy Pierce helps mock trial team members prepare for their first competition at practice. (photo by claire boenitz)

new team for its first competition. The competition will be held at the St. Louis County Courthouse in Clayton, and will consist of two rounds – one on Jan 28, and the other on Feb. 25.

“I think the team will win a few rounds this year, but I don’t think we’ll make it as far because we’re still a new team,” sophomore Tessa Smith said. “I’m excited because it’s going to offer me a great opportunity to sharpen my speaking skills and thinking on my feet.”

At competitions, one team competes as the plaintiff, or the group that brings a lawsuit, while the other acts as the defense. They try their case in front of a judge, who is a real lawyer or judge. The jury is made up of two real lawyers, who evaluate and score the competitors. Students aren’t scored based on whether or not they win the case; they are scored on how consistently they portray the characters in the case, the content of their arguments and questions, and their speaking skills.

“If they work to their full potential, we should be very competitive,” co-coach Randy Pierce said. “Preparation is part of it, but another part is how good the competition is, and we can’t really help that.”

Mock trial practices are held on Tuesday evenings, but as the first trial approaches, they will also be held on Thursdays. At practice, team members go over trial procedure, become familiar with the case they are acting out, and practice reading it through.

“The best part about mock trial is seeing the kids make progress and gain confidence,” Pierce said. “Even if they think they got beat at a trial, they’re still excited and pumped because they learned a lot.