The 2021-2022 school year will be one of Mock Trial’s largest years.
The team has the most members in the past five years, with 26 new and returning members competing, said Mock Trial Coach Rick Lewkowitz.
“The new students seem to have lots of energy and enthusiasm, which is always a good thing,” Lewkowitz said.
In Mock Trial, multiple high schools compete against each other in a mock criminal trial. Each school has two teams. One team is the prosecution while the other one is the defense. Both teams compete against the corresponding teams from opposing schools. Different schools debate against each other on different levels, starting with county and going up to state.
Lewkowitz aims to take the Mock Trial team to county competitions. There are 18 teams entered in county-level competitions.
This year’s case involves the death of a landlord who was killed by a snake in his mailbox. The defense will argue that the death of the landlord was a pure accident, and the prosecution will claim that an upset tenant intentionally planted the snake due to his possession of snake handling equipment.
Before the trial begins there is first a pretrial motion, when attorneys from both sides debate on whether an important piece of evidence to a case should be included based on constitutional rights, said senior team captain Nihal Gulati.
As an example, Gulati said the defense can argue to exclude the evidence of snake tongs because the evidence was obtained through video surveillance, which can be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The trial then begins with opening statements from both sides.
The prosecution then asks questions to the witnesses in the case, which is followed by a cross-examination by the defense.
The trial ends with a closing argument from each side.
The team meets from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays in the Matthews Library.
Their next match against Tamalpais High School, Moreau Catholic High School and Lynbrook High School will take place on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 9 a.m.