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Take the Stand: Bees Mock Trial Goes to Regionals

Hamsika Totapally

The Brecksville Broadview Heights Mock Trial Team is on the case Feb. 16, competing in regionals. The competition is at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse where the teams with the highest scores from districts hope to secure their spot at states.

Brecksville Mock Trial

The team consists of 18 members and each of them has put in an immense amount of effort into the past couple of months to compete at districts.

Peri Wisner, sophomore and two-year member, explains how members of the group get ready for the competition. “We get together weekly and go over things like directs and crosses,” said Wisner.

In mock trial, there are two roles a member can take, whether it be an attorney or a witness. As an attorney, their job is to ask questions during witness examinations, as well as performing either an opening statement or closing argument.

As a witness, their job is to provide evidence on people, places or events that have taken place in order to argue the case.

Peri’s role in mock trial is being a witness, which requires her to memorize the witness statement of the witness she plays. She works with her attorney to answer questions about her statement.

There are two teams, each with their own defense and prosecution. Each defense and prosecution team consists of two attorneys and two witnesses.

The case for the 2023 season is about a family who owns a junkyard and are laundering money from the local high school and putting it to use for the junkyard as well as personal expenses. During the time of the alleged transactions, a 1967 Camaro was bought with the suspicion of laundered funds. Although it was not actually bought with laundered funds,the state is now looking to recover the loss of the conspiracy by seizing the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. Prosecution believes the car should be confiscated while defense argues that it violates the 8th amendment.

Tim Adams, history teacher, has been the club advisor for five years and says mock trial is such a fascinating club. “It [mock trial] highlights the importance of clear communication. This is quite different from bubbling in multiple choice questions,” says Adams.

Hamsika Totapally

According to the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, “Each year volunteer attorneys create an original case around a current constitutional issue important to students. Mock Trial teams work with an attorney or a judge to prepare their case – from both the plaintiff and defense perspective. Competitions at the district, regional, and state levels are conducted in an actual courtroom and are scored by panels of lawyers and judges.”

“Mock trial offers an innovative approach to learning the law and how our legal system functions. Guided by teachers and volunteer legal advisors, students participate in an original, unscripted simulated trial written by attorneys. High school students argue both sides of the case in real courtrooms. Participants don’t have to pursue a law degree to benefit from the club,” says Adams.

Aashvi Kenia, senior and co-president of mock trial, has been in mock trial for three years and is going into law. “Definitely join! The team is fun and we like to bond at Boneyard after competitions,” said Kenia.

Anna Painter, senior and 3-year member, shares her thoughts on mock trial by saying, “There’s some drama here and there, but we’re mostly friends. I think my favorite part would be the laughs and the bonds you’re able to make.”

Anna Painter, Leah Canter, Peri Wisner (Leah Canter)

The team is thrilled to be competing at regionals as they have not advanced in over 10 years and are hoping with high enough scores that they’ll make it to states.

To keep up with the bees, follow their social media accounts listed below:
Instagram: bbhhs.mocktrial
Tiktok: bbhhsmocktrial

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About the Contributor
Leah Canter
Leah Canter, Staff Editor
Leah, a junior and third-year staff writer for the BBH HyBreeze, is a mental health advocate who loves traveling.

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