Are you mocking me:

JH Mock trial is back and under new leadership

Jh mock trial is back and in person, teaching students the fundamentals of defending a case and prosecuting criminals.

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

Jh mock trial is back and in person, teaching students the fundamentals of defending a case and prosecuting criminals.

Dominic Hamon, Peanuts Writer

After nearly three years, the junior high mock trial team is back and ready to debate. But first, they need an administrator to run it. When given the opportunity, librarian Melody Riggs happily took on that role. 

“They said that the junior high mock trial needed an advisor so I [said], ‘I’ll do it,’” Riggs said.

The club will go in depth on teaching students the basics of putting on a trial and an outline of courthouse rules to prepare students for debating at the high school level. The club might even get some outside help from experienced workers.

“I was able to meet with a local attorney who had some experience coaching college level mock trials as well, and so she was able to give me some pointers for the team,” Riggs said.

Practices take place Tuesdays after school in the library classroom from 3:15-4:15. The practices base their trials off of popular middle school books, keeping the trials interesting and enjoyable for the participants.

“Part of the reason I wanted to do it is because the middle school mock trial uses a book by Margaret Peterson Haddix called The Greystone Secrets that’s been pretty popular with some students, as a base for some trials,” Riggs says.

At the junior high level, the club is mainly going through the basics of mock trials, like practicing speaking, but soon they’ll start working on pulling apart evidence from the case file that they have, seeing what works for the defense and the prosecution. 

One member of the club, Cadence Okuwobi, ‘27, said “I joined because it sounded fun. I like debating against people and trying to get them to agree with me, and I’ve read the book before and it’s a really good book.”

Around late April/early May, the club will attend a state showcase at the Ohio Supreme Court to get an even more in depth experience. At this showcase, the JH mock trial team will split into defense and prosecution, where WHHS defense will face another middle school’s prosecution.

“At the showcase, our students will basically go through the entire trial process,” Riggs said, “acting as attorneys and witnesses, giving opening statements, examining and cross examining witnesses and giving closing arguments.”

The club appeals to a wide range of interests with choices of being the attorney and asking the questions as well as making opening and closing sentences. The students could choose to be a witness and act out a role based on a witness statement they’re given.