Mock Trial Team Starts Year Strong with a Win in Colorado


The varsity Mock Trial team with their trophies after winning the 2019 State Championship. Photo courtesy of Pete Zivkov.

Sarah Norum, A&L Editor

Some members of the varsity Mock Trial team traveled to Denver, Colo. to participate in The Providence Cup national tournament on Oct. 18 and 19. The team won all four rounds, qualifying them for the final round, which they also won, making them the champions of the tournament. Although the team was not able to make it last year due to a transition in coaches, they made up for it with a strong win this past weekend. 

The Providence Cup provided the team with a unique experience that they do not get in the annual California tournament run by the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF). “Something really fun about this tournament is that it’s based on a real event, so a few years ago it was the Titanic case and this year it was the Lindberg Kidnapping which took place in the 1930s,” senior member Meredith Fenyo said. “We saw a lot of weird things over the weekend, for example, in the final round, the other team’s theory was that the grieving mother kidnapped the baby and then killed her. Our team had to do deal with that in the middle of the trial since you don’t have time to prepare, which was really exhilarating.”

 Senior member Caleb Julian-Kwan won the Best Attorney Award in the final round for his strong persuasion in this difficult position. “It’s a very provocative, outrageous theory and Caleb stood up to that and was quite persuasive and he was recognized,” teacher advisor Dan Devitt said.

This tournament strengthened bonds between the team members and started the year off on a good note. “It gives younger students a chance to experience competition before the season even kicks off,” Devitt said. “I believe the youngest kids were juniors and some of them are returned for the second time. It sort of represents a chance to bond with the upperclassmen but also demonstrate that you know we’re looking forward to bringing them next year and having a future success of this tournament.” 

Overall, this tournament got the varsity Mock Trial team off to a great start. “I think [the results of this tournament] set a tone that given some tough competition and frankly a completely disorganized tournament, they can rise above, which is something we always emphasize in Mock Trial,” Devitt said. 

This year, the varsity team plans to focus on improving, but also testing various techniques and strategies they didn’t have time to in the past. “I think that since we won states last year, it’s less about proving ourselves this year, and more about challenging ourselves, trying new things and working together as a team,” Fenyo said. “Going into the California season, we are all super excited to be back with the full varsity team again and start shaping our case. This year, it’s a murder case called People v. Matsumoto which will be fun.”