Objection, Your Honor! Mock Trial’s Great Season

On Tuesday, February 18th, the Harriton Mock Trial team took on their arch nemesis, Mt. St. Joseph Academy at the Montgomery County Courthouse to fight for a spot in the District finals competition on Wednesday, February 25th.

After a suspenseful and close match, Harriton’s Defense team lost to Mt. St. Joe’s by less than one point.

However, Harriton Mock Trial has had an extremely successful season, putting in hours of work every week since November. Led by co-captains Liza Tishenko and Ben Hewitt, the team prepared questions, cross-examinations, and opening and closing statements on both sides of this year’s mock court case: Kelly Simon v. Ruffed Grouse High School. The case dealt with a high school track star, Jordan Simon, who overdosed on EPO, a performance-enhancing drug used by distance athletes. Jordan’s mother/father (each witness can be either gender) is suing Jordan’s high school, claiming that they knew, or should have known, that Jordan was taking the drugs.

After the case was released in early November, the Mock Trial crew met every Wednesday in coach Ms. Jawork’s room to strategize, analyze, and synthesize a case strategy. They wrote, practiced, and memorized questions, both defending the school on the defense side and attacking RGHS on the plaintiff team.

They devoted countless evenings and weekends to mastering their roles in preparation for competitions in front of a real judge and a jury comprised of lawyers at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

Sure enough, when the first competition on January 28 rolled around, the Defense team crushed Lower Moreland’s B team, 99.4-87, with a unanimous verdict. The following week, Harriton’s Plaintiff team was eager to compete. Unfortunately, Pottsgrove High School forfeited at the last minute before the second round of competitions on February 4th. However, the rules state that in the event of a forfeit, the other team automatically moves on to the next round: the district Quarterfinals.

On February 11th, after a week of last minute role changes and adjustments, Harriton’s plaintiff team, featuring freshman Dante Scaglione as the grieving father Kelly Simon, and Liza Tishenko with an emotional and persuasive closing statement, crushed opponent La Salle College High, again with a unanimous verdict and a record-breaking 111.33 points. This win enabled them to proceed to their competition against Mt. St. Joe’s on February 18.

The team worked diligently and had a great 2014 season. Congratulations, Harriton Mock Trial!