The Mock Trial team participated with 17 other schools in the San Joaquin County Mock Trial invitational, Dec. 14, at the Wentworth Educational Center in Stockton.Strumpfer Q&A

Country Day first faced Pacific Law High School’s defense team and Escalon High School’s prosecution in the first round.

“We did very well. We definitely would’ve won had (the rounds) been scored,” said coach Jeanine Boyers.

Junior Grant Miner, prosecution pre-trial attorney, agrees.

“Pacific Law was just really inexperienced. They didn’t know their stuff,” Miner said.

Other schools that attended included Rio Americano, Tracy High School, Venture Academy, Piedmont High School, Able Charter School, and Lincoln High School..

After a group lunch, all of the teams met for round two. Country Day fought against both Able Charter’s defense and Lincoln’s prosecution.

“Their coach obviously forgot to teach (Able Charter) about court decorum,” Miner said. “Their lead attorney was very argumentative. She acted like she was on ‘Law and Order,’ making really aggressive, argumentative questions.

“I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but a judge in a real competition would have chewed her up and spit her out,” Miner said.

The case, a murder, revolves around the illicit sale of Adderall.

The prosecution attempted to prove that the defendant sold the victim Adderall, leading to the victim’s subsequent heart attack.

On the other hand, the defense argues that the defendant was not responsible for the victim’s death, as he didn’t sell the Adderall.

The trial judges were supposed to be attorneys that were familiar with the case, but not the coaches of the teams.

In the end, both parents Ilija Cvetich, an attorney, and Wayne Strumpfer, chief counsel of the Government Claims Board, came to judge Country Day rounds.

However, in many cases there were shortages of attorneys, so many coaches had to step into judging roles.

Junior George Cvetich, Mock Trial co-captain, sees a lot of room for improvement among the team’s witnesses.

“We know our facts, but we don’t have enough character, really. We just need to make (our witnesses) seem more real and believable,” he said.

Boyers mainly wants the team to focus on the facts.

“The greatest weakness for 80 percent of the team is really knowing the case. You really have to memorize the whole case to do well, and we aren’t there yet,” she said.

However, Boyers said that the team is finally “cohesive.”

As a result of the invitational, the team’s theme (a recurring word or phrase that emphasizes an argument) has been changed, although Boyers would not reveal it.

“Our cross- and direct examinations are very clean. I’m starting to get a much better sense on who will get roles at the end of the day,” Boyers said.

 

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