Future lawyer deliberate on season start


Allyson Bonhaus

SWING THE GAVEL. The students are gathered at the Hamilton County Courthouse after completing the district competition for the 2016-2017 season. Every year the teams compete at two scrimmages before the district competition at the Hamilton County Courthouse. “Your team becomes your family because you go through such intense situations together in the courtroom so I guess I like the whole team work aspect of it,” said Akhila Durisala, 11, Varsity witness.

The case was released. Introductions were given. Teams were decided.

Now students must dive into case theory, law precedents, and their own roles as either attorneys or witnesses. Tryouts consisted of delivering an opening statement or explaining the character a student wants to portray in the season.

“The tryout process for mock trial is quite different than other auditions/tryouts that I’ve been to in that it wasn’t this nerve-wracking experience. The ‘judges’ understood how writing and delivering an opening statement for the first time can be intimidating so they were very helpful in giving us feedback to improve,” said Akhila Durisala, 11, Varsity witness.

Results were announced on Oct. 22, dividing the students into roles and teams (Varsity, JV, or Freshman).

Mock Trial is an academic club here at SHS, advised by Mr. Andrew Oakes and Mr. Darius Powell. The teams work with their legal advisers, who are local lawyers who donate their time to prepare the team, for the district competition on Jan. 18, 2019.

“I was on JV last year, so I’m a bit nervous to be on the Varsity team but everyone seems dedicated and passionate about the case so I am confident we will do well at districts,” Durisala said.

Each team is comprised of four attorneys and four witnesses, with two of each on Defense and Plaintiff. Teams meet a few times a week, both as a large group and as individual teams with their legal advisers.

The season has just begun and teams are deciding what witnesses to call, role divisions, etc. Scrimmages will take place at Miami University in December and the University of Cincinnati in early January.