East’s mock trial team took second place on Saturday at a local competition against Olathe, Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission schools. The students participated in a two hour trial four times, twice on the plaintiff and twice on the defense side. Everyone was given the same scenario about an elderly woman who was killed because of the money she inherited and the students’ had to decide if the accused committed the murder.
Senior Michael Hill fought as an attorney on the plaintiff and on the defensive side he played a witness, Bobby Baxter. Hill had been preparing for this competition by memorizing, writing speeches and having practice trials. Most of the preparation they did was memorizing the story of each witness and trying to anticipate questions they might be asked by the opposing side.
“Our strength was definitely the substance of our arguments,” Hill said. “I think we did a good job in cross examination, questioning the credibility of the opposing witnesses, and had good opening and closing speeches.”
Junior Michael Kennedy played the attorney for both sides of the trial. The attorneys ask questions to the witnesses, make the opening and closing statements and object to questions that aren’t admissible.
“Being an attorney is better than being a witness,” Kennedy said. “It made me realize I don’t want to actually be a lawyer though.”
According to Kennedy, the team was happy with their results, but since they won first last year they want to do the same this year. Next Saturday the team will go on to the State competition in Wichita where they will argue the same topic given at their local competition.
The mock trial class will be reworking their opening and closing statements and polish what they presented at the local competition. According to Hill, their professionalism wasn’t always right on par, but besides that the team didn’t have very many weaknesses.
“I think we have a good chance of winning at State,” Hill said. “Now that we have had competition we know what to expect.”