The start of the school year can be the most overwhelming time for any student; for the members of CCHS’ Mock Trial team, even more so.
Each year a mock case is written by the Constitutional Rights Foundation and released in September. Teams have until November to prepare both a defense and prosecution team and then go compete at the LA courthouse against other schools and in front of an actual judge. Members assume the roles of Attorney, Witness, Bailiff or Clerk, and the competition is as close to an actual court case as you can be a part of without an actual law degree or being put on trial yourself. Tryouts begin the very first week back to school, and the team is often finalized before even the Club Fair.
The cases often relate to current issues; last year it focused on the growing political divide on the topic of immigration, this year: cyberbullying.
For those who choose to take on the workload, Mock Trial offers one of the most unique and rewarding experiences available to a CCHS student. It is a club that teaches many of the most important skills one can learn in its hectic 3-month season. In that short span of time, members have to balance their schedules, learn public speaking, think critically about a complicated case, and learn the applicable law. All of the work is done by the students, but we would be hopeless without the invaluable assistance offered by our attorney coach, Ronald Ziff, and our faculty advisor, Mr. Owens, and most importantly, our team mascot (and Mr.Ziff’s dog) Riley. Whether a student is seriously considering a career in law, or just likes to argue, Mock Trial provides a valuable opportunity to experience the inner workings of the legal system, while also competing and representing CCHS.
Pictured above is the CCHS Mock Trial team: Annabel Axtell, Erin Hamill, Dagny Haton, Rohan Jain, Matthew Lopez, Xochitl Madison, Kush Momaya, Francesca Namala, Sam Parekh, Andrea Pastor, Sophie Price, Taylore Reliford, David Shaw, Dylan Staal, R. Yogi Sylvain, Liam Wall, Benjamin Wallach and Donald Ward. On the team, but not pictured are: Evan Pearson, Isa Berliner and Piper Samuels.