By: Jared Capozza
With the season cut shorter than planned last year, the 2015 Mock Trial team is looking to rebound and attempt to make their mark not only in the Pittsburgh courtroom, but all the way across the state in Harrisburg.
From an outside perspective, most people don’t really know what Mock Trial is all about. The name is fairly self explanatory. The group will take a fictitious case and then divide the group into different roles: a lawyer team (which represents a plaintiff and a defendant), a witness group and a timekeeper.
To prepare, the members argue their case against each other. One side acting as the defense, the other as the plaintiff. An example case that was performed last year by the team involved a death at a Sorority. One side had to argue that the Sorority caused the death of a girl, while the other was tasked with arguing that it was just a random accident. Information was brought to the Court saying certain acts led to the girl’s death, while the defense said it just happened and couldn’t be prevented. This year, the team plans to compete twice. Though that seems like not that much, there is a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for each competition. The team gets the case that they are to argue in advance; last year, for example, they were given one month to prepare for competition. They compete against other schools in the local Pittsburgh area. The group travels to the Allegheny County Courthouse for their competitions.
The task placed on the team is not easy. They work from the beginning of the school year all the way until Spring preparing for their competitions. However, they are much more confident this year based on a strong class of newcomers, as well as a good number of veterans returning. This team also has a special opportunity given to them this year. Thanks to proctor Ms. Sopczynski, everyone on the team this year is able to take a fieldtrip to the Pittsburgh Courtroom in the Spring, to be the Jury for the College Mock Trial Championships, a great opportunity for all who are thinking about law as a potential career.