Empire Mock Trial Prepares for International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia

Words: Natalie Knight-Griffin

On Wednesday, September 12, Centennial’s Empire Mock Trial team presented their trial court case before a mass of parents and teachers. After several months of hard work, memorization, and dedication even during the summer, Mock Trial has a full length court case to be presented at the international mock trial competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

The team consists of senior captain Mary Slattery and co-captain Anjali Gajendiran. Junior captains are sophomore Adam Goldstein and junior Judy Zhou. The team also consists of seniors Kieran Newell and Abby Zoller-gritz, juniors Meenakshi Adiyodi, Sruthi Ranesh, Emily Kim, and Christina Cha, and sophomores Carter Matties, Philip Wong, Adam Goldstein, and Emmeline Murphy.

Students performed the trial seamlessly, presenting months worth of preparation and memorization before a crowd of proud parents. Members of the team have practiced hundreds of hours in total to insure their case is fully committed to memory and presented in a believable manner.

All students play a role in the trial, acting as either lawyers, character witnesses, or expert witnesses. Nearly a hundred pages of mock evidence are used in the trial, all mock mugshots, photographs, and even prints of fake news sourcing regarding the made-up case. The case the team presents is not real, yet has all of the elements of many court cases seen today. The case discusses racial tensions and assault.

“It’s real up to the point that the events did not happen,” says senior Abby Zoller-gritz.

The international conference consists of high school teams from around the globe showcasing their hypothetical cases, each tying into current events and issues. The teams are judged by a panel of lawyers and legal experts. The Mock Trial team leaves for Atlanta on Wednesday, September 19, and returns on September 24. Students are missing three days of school to attend the conference on September 22, 23, and 24.

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