The Anzar High School Mock Trial team will be representing San
Benito County at the State Mock Trial Competitions.
The Anzar High School Mock Trial team will be representing San Benito County at the State Mock Trial Competitions. This year’s finals will be held in Orange County. The Anzar Mock Trial team is proud to be the four-years-running county Mock Trial champions. Each year the team has been improving their standings, last year finishing 34th in the state.

This year’s team is gearing-up for the final competitions which will take place April 1,2,3 and 4. This year’s case deals with the Fourth Amendments rights of search and seizure and credit card fraud.

Herein lies the beauty of the program. Few people know what Mock Trial is. Well, it’s just what it sounds like – a mock trial. The Constitutional Rights Foundation sponsors the activity and creates the trial case. The trials address issues that young people of today are facing, which gives team members a chance to explore and understand these issues.

Mock Trial is an academic team teaching listening, cooperation, communication and critical thinking. The program also conveys understanding of constitutional issues, the U.S. court system and the legal system.

Students on the team try out for positions. Each team consists of pre-trial attorneys, trial attorneys, witnesses, a bailiff, timekeepers and – if conditions are fortunate – a courtroom artist and alternates. An entire team consists of both a prosecution and defense team, which will compete against the opposite team of other schools.

Anzar’s prosecution team consists of: pre-trial attorney Mizzy Yoes, trial attorneys Danielle Netzel, Daniel Goodman and Reid Ellison, and witnesses Nick Brown, Kelsey Stone, Rebekah Newman and Rebecca Lee.

The defense team is composed of pre-trial attorney Reid Ellison, trial attorneys Brittany Conrad and Flannery Fitch, and witnesses Sara Donowho, Kayla Morrow, Carmen Morales and Mackenzie Quaid portraying the defendant.

Nicole Gibson is the team’s bailiff, Carmen Morales the timekeeper, Claire Ray the courtroom artist and Kyra Howard is the witness alternate. Mrs. Breiling is the teacher coach, and John Sarsfield and Susan Chapman are the attorney coaches, who all put in a great amount of time to teach the team about the legal system and working in the courtroom.

The casebooks, issued by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, provide a fact situation which outlines the case, witness testimonies, evidence diagrams and tips for attorneys.

Attorneys must create direct questions for witnesses which will help prove their case and also come up with cross-examination questions for witnesses on the opposing side. Trial attorneys must write and present opening statements as well as closing arguments. Attorneys must also be well versed with legal matters and the overall case in order to make objections against another team’s questioning or to argue and explain objections made against their own questioning.

Witnesses are given a testimony which is pre-scripted by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Witnesses portray a certain character of the case by memorizing the information given in their testimony and using it to answer questions from attorneys on both prosecution and defense teams.

After months of hard work and practice, the team will finally be presenting the case to real judges in an authentic setting.

Once the team is in Orange County, they will find out whether their prosecution or defense team is competing first, and what other county champions they will be up against.

The team’s excitement is growing as the final competitions approach, and so is the anxiety of memorizing errata, statements, questions, testimonies and courtroom propriety. Our school is fortunate to be competing with the best teams from counties all over the state. Wish us luck in Orange County!

Brittany Conrad is a junior at Anzar High School.

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