Ten students at Evans Middle School will spend today pretending to be lawyers and witnesses during regional Mock Trial competition in Burlington.
Mock Trial provides students the opportunity to present both sides of a hypothetical legal case. Students learn about the legal process and current legal issues. The club helps students develop critical-thinking skills and aids in the development of fundamental research, preparation, and presentation skills. The current club was started last year.
With assistance from Sam Huff, a prosecutor in the county attorney’s office, students are assigned roles, memorize the case file, and rehearse their arguments. The group started meeting in early September, meeting two or three times a week to prepare for regional competition.
This year’s case involves a business being tried in a wrongful death case. Students serve on the prosecution and defense sides. They do the opening and closing statements, and question witnesses. Some students serve as witnesses.
Trey Hull, a seventh grader, had a friend in the club last year and thought it sounded fun. He came back this year when he heard that the club was going to a tournament and really wanted to compete. And he likes to argue, he added. “Defense is my favorite part.”
Chris Luedtke likes to do activities like Mock Trial. The seventh grader is very competitive and also likes to argue.
Emma Strayer’s mom had done Mock Trial when she was in school and encouraged her daughter to join. A sixth grader, Strayer is excited to be doing the closing argument for the prosecution. She had to memorize the entire case file and feels confident she will do well at competition. “You need out-of-the-box thinking to do this,” she said.
Participating students include: Emma Strayer, Chris Luedtke, Colton Addis, Josie Young, Sophia Ford, Trey Hull, Paige Anderson, , Haley Vanderburg, Dalaney Deiters, and Jaiden Cunningham. The team is coached by Ralph Skinner.