Heritage Mock Trial team wins big at States

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As of last month, March 7-8, the States Mock Trial Team are state champions,  winning at the Florida state mock trial competition in Orlando where they competed for 3 days. 

This trip was over the span of seven days with the first three days consisting of practice, and the final three of, before returning home. The case was a civil case meaning it was an offense against an individual in this case a student and the issue was breach of contract. The plaintiff was a student, Alex Ross, who was bringing a lawsuit against Palm Coast University for improperly expelling him under the student contract after accusations of plagiarism and AI. . 

The mock trial team consisted of a defense and plaintiff team and each team and each one  practiced for months prior to the competition discussing case theories and practicing objections. Each team member had their own role which they prepared for in their own way as well. 

“I prepared my reading of the case packet over and over again and specifically my witness’ affidavit and also continuously worked with my lawyer and coaches to refine my direct examination and incorporate new suggestions and feedback,” senior Charlotte Wu said when asked about how she prepared for her role as plaintiff witness, Alex Ross.

The team as a whole also had a unique method to help prepare right before going into competition.

“Our team plays music and sings together before we compete which gets us excited before the round starts. I think this helps our performance a lot,” senior Madilyn Rice said. 

Each person had a role as either a witness or lawyer and those roles helped secure the team’s win. 

“I love being a lawyer because I get to practice my public speaking skills and learn various aspects of the law from criminal to civil,” Rice said. 

Sophomore Joshua McMurray, who played the plaintiff, stated that he “greatly enjoy[ed] acting and I was able to let [his]  “Alex Ross” shine.” 

However in the end it wasn’t the individual’s work, but the team coming together as a whole that secured the win. 

“I don’t think there was any one specific moment that helped us to win, but I think that overall what definitely made our team stand out is how polished and cohesive we are,” said Wu. “We make sure that each witness and lawyer is on the same page about everything and know how to properly further our case. We never let them see us sweat, and we stay calm and confident.” 

The team competed in the Orange County Courthouse and consisted of 10 members ranging from sophomores to seniors. (Photo/Charlotte Wu)