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The CDH Chronicle

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Order in the Court!

Mock Trial builds confidence and community at CDH
Members of Mock Trial in courtroom.

There are nearly 40 unique clubs at CDH tailoring to different interests. Mock trial is a club that receives a realistic yet made up law case each year, and competes in trials with other schools. The trials essentially “mock” what an actual trial in court would look like. The case is released in mid October, and the team has until January to prepare. Attorneys prepare direct and cross examinations, and witnesses learn the ins and outs of their character. Mock trial is an awesome way to try something new and unique, meet new friends, and build confidence when speaking in front of others. 

Sage Skally, a sophomore at CDH, joined the team this year for the first time. She joined because it looked like a fun way to get involved and potentially explore the law career path. 

“It looked like a fun activity. I thought it would be a cool career to be a lawyer so I thought it was interesting and wanted to try it.” 

Skally was an attorney this year.  Being an attorney has been an enjoyable yet difficult experience for her. She has learned skills that ordinarily wouldn’t be learned in the same way in a class, including advanced research skills and confidence in front of others. The biggest struggle she faced at the beginning of the season was knowing how to use information pulled from the case.

“Being an attorney has been really interesting, challenging and fun. It has really helped me with confidence, learning how to research, and talking in front of people. Knowing what to write my questions about was definitely a struggle at first.”

Sage’s favorite part of mock trial this year was the community aspect of the team. 

“I really enjoy the people on the team. Everybody has been super nice, and it has been really fun to meet people from different grades and connect with everyone.” 

Gina Lopiano; a senior at CDH, was a captain of the team this year. It was her third year on the team. She originally joined mock trial because her cousin was on a mock trial team during high school, and thought it would be fun to try. 

Gina has always been a witness. It was the role she initially began with, and she has loved the role ever since. She has learned the ins and outs of each witness that has been assigned, and learned ways to better articulate arguments. Witnesses get the opportunity to have fun acting out their character, and also learning valuable skills while doing it. 

“I’ve only ever been a witness. The first year I ever did it, it was the role I was assigned to. I learned how to do it well and have stuck with it ever since. I really like being a witness because I have learned my way through arguments. I have learned to be strategic and technical when it comes to answering questions.” 

Gina’s favorite parts of mock trial are the collaborative aspects, and also being able to argue in a fun way. 

“I really like being able to work with others to create a story. I also really like crafting arguments, and being able to argue with an attorney.”

Over the course of the time Gina was on the team, she became more knowledgeable and experienced with the trials. Gina wanted to be captain because she felt she could use her experience to help others be successful. 

“I felt like I gained a sense of how it worked, and what people needed support with, especially with witnesses. 

Gina’s favorite memory over the years is the scary yet exciting feeling the entire team experiences right before a trial. All the hard work  put in by the team is about to be displayed,

“I like the feeling we get before trial when everyone is frantically looking over questions, and last minute preparing. It is fun to be around everyone when we are all excited but nervous. It is definitely a bonding experience for the team.”

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