Three Village Mock Trial Team Going to the Playoffs!


Ethan Li, Op-Ed Editor

It is a crisp spring evening. The Three Village Mock Trial team sits around connected tables in the Gelinas school library. Thick green binders and manila-yellow legal pads lay scattered all around the table. Patriot colors.

Right now it is just past six o’clock, and the “Mockers” (as they affectionately dub themselves) are enthusiastically discussing the minutia of credibility versus character. Really, it is a small detail, but in Mock Trial the little details can often make or break a case. This year marks just the third season of the team’s competition, but they have already won a county championship, and placed fourth at states. Co-captain Sarah Prokop expresses it simply: “Seeing all your hard work and dedication unfold into this beautiful work of art is amazing.”

But it definitely hasn’t been all winning. In the first year especially, the team faced numerous logistical difficulties. Mock Trial competitions involve two sides: a plaintiff and defense team. In their first year, there were not enough members to make the two teams, and students had to take on multiple roles with double the work. However, as Vice-president Maho Koga says, “In order to see how good you really are, you have to be challenged first.” It was a massive learning experience.

In the library the team starts to practice their direct examinations, where the attorneys pose questions to their own side’s witnesses. Everything has been carefully scripted, but there is no script in sight because everything has also been carefully memorized. With each question the witness illuminates another fact about the case, shines light on another point that was deemed important in practice. However, the difficulty lies in being dramatic while also maintaining a professional demeanor. It is a fine line to walk.

But they walk it with confidence. “Loud and proud,” just like their motto.

One of the more astonishing things about Mock Trial is the sheer amount of preparation that goes into it. Moves and counter-moves, putting themselves in the opponent’s frame of mind, anticipating potential arguments… The Mockers discuss all this and more in a lively, open-ended conversation. The process is difficult to follow. As the conversation delves deeper, it becomes more and more convoluted. And to complicate things even more, sometimes the same piece of evidence can be manipulated for different sides.

However, throughout all the complexities, the one constant is the team’s close dynamic. “The team is like my family,” says Co-president Isabelle Scott. “I just joined mock trial this year, but I already feel like part of ‘the family,’” echoes sophomore Michael Lu. “I don’t even consider the team as a team, we really are a family,” Prokop agrees. And like a family, the Mockers have gone through successes and failures together. Their favorite memory? “Winning county finals,” says Secretary Andi Sauer. “It sounds really cheesy but I don’t know when else I’ve been as happy as I was then.”

It is nearing seven thirty now, and practice is almost over. Next Wednesday is the team’s first playoff match, and the excitement is practically tangible. Mock Trial is a puzzle, and with each match the team gets a little closer to their goal. They’ll solve this puzzle—piece by piece.