Mock trial rests case at districts


COURT SIDE SEATS. Seniors Jenna Bao and Adam Meller prepare at counsel table at district competition. Both seniors have been in the program since freshman year. The two attorneys were on the side of the defense this season and competed against St. Ursula Academy. Photo courtesy of Yan Xu.

The 2017-2018 mock trial season came to an end for SHS teams at district competition. The event took place at the Hamilton County Courthouse on Fri. Jan. 26. with 48 teams from 23 area high schools.

  SHS was represented by three teams: No Contest, Winning Appeal, and Raise the Bar.

  Each team consists of two sides, with two attorney and witnesses on each side. At competition, the prosecution of one team goes against the defense of another to present a complete trial (based on a fictional case) evaluated by local lawyers and judges.

  To prepare, teams have been meeting and working with attorney advisors since September of 2017.

  “I got the chance to learn many new things and even become closer friends with all my teammates,” said Grace Zhang, 9.

  At districts, every team competed twice so that defense and prosecution sides faced up against different schools.

  No Contest faced Oak Hills and Mother of Mercy, Winning Appeal faced McAuley and Winton Woods, and Raise the Bar faced Indian Hill and St. Ursula Academy.

  “I was really nervous, but it was really fun,” said Andrew Crook, 9.

  In order to advance, a team must win both trials. Despite strong performances, no SHS team moved on to regionals. However, many participants did receive individual awards.

  Freshman Alaina Delsignore, junior Grace Creek, and senior Jenna Bao received Outstanding Attorney awards; freshman Ashna Prakash, sophomore Akhila Durisala, and seniors Rishav Dasgupta and Dylan Sleyo received Outstanding Witness awards.

  “This was my first year doing mock trial, and I honestly had a great experience. I had the pleasure of working with these amazing people who brought the team together and held an utmost amount of dedication that all paid off on Friday [at competition]. Even though there were times I had wanted to quit, I’m quite glad I didn’t because it was worth every minute,” Durisala said.

  Now, the teams and participants look forward to next year’s potential.

  “I know that our program will continue to grow. We brought in some amazingly talented rookies…I never thought that our team would evolve so much, but our improvement this year was astonishing.

  “I’m sure this disappointing result will only motivate our team to do even better. I’m confident next year won’t end the same way,” said Theodore Weng, 11.