Mock Trial teams thrive on courtroom excitement

by Emily Richardson

There are several things that the mock trial teams at Davis thrive on, including a courtroom that involves intense prosecutions, attorneys and witnesses. The mock trial teams are finishing up their season, with John Costley and LeeAnn Hyer both coaching a team that represents Davis.

The state of Utah gives the mock trial team a case with witness statements and evidence. The team then prepares both a prosecution and defense. In a mock trial case, you have four attorneys and three witnesses like a trial. The prosecution brings up its witnesses and question them. The defense cross-examines their witnesses and then it will reverse.

The trials can become very intense, but they can still be fun and educational. Junior Carissa Uresk, a member of Hyer’s team, said that the purpose of mock trial is to help kids learn about the legal system and how it works. “I like it because it gives you a lot of experience,” said Uresk, who wants to a lawyer. “It is a lot of fun to cross a witness and it feels good when you crush them or when you make your point.”

The mock trial teams have put in a lot of work and time to prepare for their trials. They meet frequently after school and help each other practice. “Even though we all have different responsibilities, we help each other fulfill them,” Uresk said.

Hyer’s team, which consists of mainly students who are also on the debate team, includes senior Jake Van Leeuwen, who said that he has learned great communication skills and how law and the court room actually work. “Mock trial gives a fairly good insight into what law is like,” Van Leeuwen said.

Hyer’s team had a trial on Mar. 4 in which they won their trial two ballots to one, with three judges. They went on to quarterfinals on Mar. 11, where the team unfortunately lost.