Mock Trial Team scores in the Golden State

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Mock Trial members celebrate their fourth consecutive Empire win in three years at the Battle By the Bay competition in San Francisco. After weeks of intensive practice, chaperones Eric and Mila Schwartzreich and Michael and Stephanie Gilfarb as well as students recognize the results of their hard work. (Photo submitted by Barak Huang)

Mock Trial members traveled to San Francisco Nov. 1 – 4 to participate in the “Empire Battle By the Bay” competition. The competition took place at the San Francisco Federal Courthouse and the San Francisco Superior Court, offering students the opportunity to practice in professional environments. The competition consisted of four rounds with each team playing defense and plaintiff twice while the top two teams advanced to the final fifth round. Students competed as either witnesses or attorneys and had the opportunity to exercise their skills in court practices. 

Before leaving for San Francisco, members held practice sessions that lasted approximately two hours for two to three days each week. Once the team arrived at the event, they held a final practice in the conference rooms to prepare. The team won the championship, securing the fourth consecutive win at an Empire competition in three years. The judges also presented senior Barak Huang with the “Best Attorney” award for his performance in the imitation trials. 

“It was definitely overwhelming,” Huang said on the receival of the award. “I had never been an attorney before this role so the experience was even more unbelievable. But, to be fair, my co-counsels deserved it more than I did.”

As the Mock Trial season continues, members reflect on past competitions and how to continue in the future. “Due to the graduation of last year’s seniors and their making up the majority of the team, the team has honestly been lacking a form of identity or spirit,” Huang said. “However, upon arriving and being given the title of team ‘captain,’ I think it is safe to say that I was part of a team with some of the greatest mock trial teammates in Heritage history. I hope the future teams and classes will be able to carry this image, spirit and mentality forward.”

Seniors Barak Huang and Annabella Lugo with junior Alexa Ruiz prepare to participate in the San Francisco competition after weeks of after school practice and at-home research. “From the incredible coaches who represent the people I aspire to be to the ways I have learned to speak, I am glad to be a part of [Mock Trial]. I would like to specifically thank both Michael Gilfarb and Eric Schwartzreich for their efforts, work, and the way they have changed my life,” Huang said. (Photo submitted by Barak Huang)

As Copy Editor and News Editor of the Patriot Post, junior Zoe Persaud spends most of her time staring at a computer and rewriting sentences. She serves as Junior Class Director of Key Club and actively participates in English Honor Society, TASSEL and National Honor Society. Outside of school, she volunteers at her local library and tries to sleep for as long as she can.

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