Mock Trial Team Competes in Out-of-State Tournament
Two weeks ago, the members of the Mock Trial team traveled to Atlanta to compete in the Empire Mock Trial competition, an event which pitted them against students from outside Missouri for the first time. The team members were seniors Cesar Azrak (his first-ever Mock Trial appearance), Patrick Charles, Ramzi Haddad, Ian McClellan, John Russell and Connor Wright.
The competiton featured 32 teams and was a 4-round tournament that took place at the Fulton County Courthouse. The teams from Georgia selected their first competitors, and Priory, one of the smaller teams in attendance, was third. "[The college-level case] was more difficult than anything we'd ever worked with before, in terms of the nuance and detail," John Russell said. The case involved the shooting of an unarmed young boy by a police officer, and the resulting debate over the police department's actions and policies.
Despite the intense competition, Cesar Azrak said he was impressed by the team's ability to maintain their composition. "By the fourth trial, we were still able to think quickly on our feet in that type of setting," he said. "We had good support from our teammates and our coaches."
Though the team didn't make the finals, team members said it was a great learning experience and the feedback they received from judges and jurors was very positive. "It was good to be able to compare ourselves to teams from other states, since we compete against a lot of the same teams here," John said.
While in Atlanta, the team spent most of its time preparing for the competition, but they were also able to visit the Georgia Aquarium before returning to St. Louis.