The Malden High School Mock Trial team has made history by going 3-0 this year and making it past the preliminary rounds.
Mock Trial is a class that contains students from students of sophomore year and higher. The seniors members of the team consist of senior Samantha Berlus, Sanaa Bezzat, Carl Foming, Anna Troung, Victoria MacDonald, Asma Soltani, Sherley Muscade and Hamza Rizvancevic, juniors Yongting Chen, Devin Ciampi, Harrison Zeiberg, and Daniela Urbina, and sophomores students Birukti Tsige, Felix Li, Katherin Machado, and Mirabelle Jean Louis. The class is not open to freshmen, but they can apply in April in hopes to be chosen to be part of this selective class the following school year. The class debates about civil cases as well as criminal cases.
Mock trial was originally an after school club, but soon after our previous principal Dana Brown made it into a class. Richard Tivnan is the advisor that has been running the class for a estimated amount of 10 years. Students from the class has agreed that it runs a “little different than your average class,” as Tivnan likes to say it's "a student-run class.”
The first two months of the class was spent into training the new students, and to refresh the minds of returning students. The people that run the Mass Bar Association Annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Program assign the same case to every mock trial team in Massachusetts. Each year there the new case switches between a criminal case or a civil case for the current year the case is criminal. They had spent a few days reading the case and expressing our ideas about it.
The Mass Bar association high school mock trial program also assigns which schools are going against each other, and they decide when each team is the defense or the prosecution.
There's a total of three preliminary rounds. Every week, starting in late January/early February the team begins to face other schools, so in total the team had about 2-3 months to prepare for the case. Everyone works on the same case but half the class is working for the defense while the other half works for the prosecution. Everyone in the class goes to the courtroom, the ones participating in the trial perform their roles and act as if it were a real case.
At the end of it all a "judge" usually said to be just a regular lawyer decides which side was more believable, and did a better job overall based on the score they gave to each individual person.
On March 5th, the whole class will be taking a trip to a college in Worcester where 32 teams will face each other. If they beat the other team they get to move on to the afternoon session where there are now 16 teams. The same process is repeated the following weekend until there is only two teams left. Those two teams will go against each other in May.