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Mock Trial team competes at CRF California Competition

Team+A+takes+poses+before+winning+the+final+round+of+the+Santa+Clara+County+competition+against+Prospect+High%0ASchool%2C+which+allowed+them+to+qualify+for+the+Teach+Democracy+CRF+Mock+Trial+state+competition.+Photo+used+with+permission+from+Mark+Shem++
Team A takes poses before winning the final round of the Santa Clara County competition against Prospect High School, which allowed them to qualify for the Teach Democracy CRF Mock Trial state competition. Photo used with permission from Mark Shem

What you need to know:

  • Mock Trial covers the case of People vs Clark in a state competition. 
  • Mock Trial places 13th at the Teach Democracy CRF Mock Trial in Los Angeles, marking their first state championship in over five years. 
  • Mock trial dedicates hours to practice to build their courtroom skills.

The Mock Trial team finished in 13th place at the Teach Democracy CRF Mock Trial competition in Los Angeles, California — the first time Lynbrook has made it to the state competition in five years. After weeks of competition among many schools, the champions of 37 different counties across California were chosen to compete in this year’s state competition. From March 22 to 24, Lynbrook faced four other teams from across the state.

At the competition, Lynbrook presented the mock case of People v. Clark, which follows Tobie Clark, a patent lawyer for the medical technology company Sunshine Medical Components. Clark is charged with the murder of SMC’s Chief Executive Officer, Kieran Sunshine. 

To prepare for this event, Mock Trial members ran 3-hour practices every Tuesday and Thursday after school, oftentimes running even longer.

“The packets that we get for the overview of the case are extremely ambiguous,” junior Ashwin Kamchetty said. “So what we have to do is come up with our own theories, like what we think occurred on the day of the event.”

 They also participated in scrimmages with other schools in Menlo Park, Moreau, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. On Jan. 6 and 7, the Lynbrook team hosted the Bay Area Bash, a competitive scrimmage with various teams from across the state. Through these scrimmages, the students acting as the trial attorney team worked on speaking more comfortably in the courtroom and improving their quick thinking and responses to objections. Meanwhile, the students acting as the witnesses enhanced their persuasiveness and answers during examinations. 

“We begin with a story that draws the judge and scoring attorneys in, whether that be through a moment in time, such as the act of killing, or a description of something exonerating what another witness said on the stand,” senior Kyrsten Su said. 

The team consists of two sides, the prosecution and the defense. The prosecution argued that Clark murdered Kieran because Kieran decided to pull out of Clark’s  plot to lie about the effectiveness of SMC’s new product. The defense argued that Clark never had any motive to kill Sunshine, and that he was never inside Kieran’s suite the night before the body was found. 

On the first day of the tournament, Mock Trial members arrived at the opening ceremony, where they announced the first pairings for the competition. The rest of the day was spent on team bonding and preparation for the real trials the following morning. 

“The first trial started at around 8 a.m. and our last one ended at around 8 p.m., so it was roughly 12 hours in a loud, bustling courtroom,” sophomore Jessie Zhu said. “We had a lot of people watch us do our trials, and it was honestly very rushed.” 

Although the team was unable to finish within the top eight, they demonstrated determination and commitment that showcased how much effort they put into being contenders. Many of the team members were seniors, and as this was their last year of competition, they were eager to succeed. 

“During COVID-19, our coach recruited more freshmen than usual,” Kamchetty said. “So these COVID-19 freshmen are now seniors, and they’ve been working up to this moment their entire high school career.”

 The team will use this experience as motivation to continue to improve and work toward greater success in future tournaments. 

“In mock, you spend hours upon hours with the same people doing the same thing,” Kamchetty said. “The team has a really strong bond, and at the end of the fourth trial everyone was quite emotional, even the coaches.”

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Erin Fitzpatrick, Staffer
(she/her) Erin is a junior and first year staffer for the Epic. In her free time she’s often watching rom-coms and cooking with her mom. She also enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, and hanging out with friends

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