‘He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides’


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All Mock Trial teams have a legal advisor who gives tips on how to approach a case. The Aves team has already learned how to write opening statements, analyze witness statements for pertinent information, and develop direct examination questions.

Harsimran Makkad

These words, once uttered by writer Charles Lamb, can sum up what Mock Trial participants have been working on since the beginning of October. This includes examining witness statements and learning new approaches with direct and cross examination.

The club has split into three teams, each led by a different legal advisor.

“Mock Trial is about knowing the law, public speaking, and acting,” junior Tyler Rasulis said.

The group of the younger students make up the Aves team. They have determined the witnesses to use on the plaintiff, or prosecutor, side of the case as well as the four lawyers who will compete at the competition in late January.

This year, the incident used is based on the violation of eight amendment rights, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

In this case, the plaintiff Emerson “Money” Jones is accusing the Buckeye Juvenile Correctional Institute (BJCI) of acting maliciously and sadistically for the purpose of causing harm as well as deliberate indifference to her medical needs.

She claims that a prison guard intentionally broke her wrist and the nurse at the institution misdiagnosed the injury. For each side of this case, there are three witnesses provided. However, only two are to be called on during trial.

The defense witnesses include the nurse, a prison guard, and an inmate while the plaintiff witnesses are Jones, a teacher at the BJCI, and a doctor from outside the facility.

“Each witness statement has different issues that we need to take into account. There is always something either side can use for or against their case,” Rasulis said.

The witnesses chosen so far are Jones and the doctor. Defense choices are currently being made. The end goal is to create a strong case for both the defense and the plaintiff.

“Both sides have obstacles to overcome. While the defense has the evidence and law on their side, the plaintiff is more emotional-based. I hope that each group can make up for any shortcomings,” teacher Mr. Andrew Ostendorf said.