Heritage continues building its Mock Trial “Empire”

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This article was written by Sloane Kapit, class of 2019.

For the second season in a row, the Heritage mock trial team clenched the world championship title. The team, coached by attorneys Eric Schwartzreich and Michael Gilfarb, traveled to San Francisco for the Empire Mock Trial competition from Oct. 22-29 in an attempt to follow up their previous win at last year’s competition in New York City.

Seniors Skyler Schwartzreich, Jordyn Allen, Paraidhi Kapadia and Talha Pala took on the lawyer roles as sophomore Alexa Ruiz, juniors Barak Huang and Kelly Celestre and senior Chase Freeman adopted the witness roles. Other members of the team included sophomore Justin Folks and juniors Kamilla Knyazeva and Harrison Krimsky. Together taking on a case that drew on the controversies of the Charlottesville riots, they conquered four straight undefeated rounds and the championship in the final round.

“It was a great bonding experience, and I learned a lot about trial advocacy,” Kapadia said.

Allen took home a “Best Attorney” award for both the prosecution and defense sides, an award never previously given by the Empire Mock Trial Competition. Ruiz, Celestre and Freeman all won individual “Best Witness” awards as well.

“Winning best witness was an act of months of hard work as well as dedication from our amazing coaches into perfecting my career,” Freeman said.

The team took it upon themselves to celebrate by beginning practice for the state mock trial competition.

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