By Jenna Schmidt
North Pocono’s Mock Trial team is having great success this season. Defeating Scranton Prep in the first round and Lakeland in the second, they are heading off to semifinals prepared to advance to the championship, and then the state competition.
Mock Trial, for those who don’t know, is an after school club at the High School designed to teach students about law and the proper proceedings in the courtroom.
The students are advised by actual attorneys and are guaranteed two trials versus different schools.
These trials take place in the Lackawanna County courthouse with a real judge and a volunteer jury made up of attorneys.
The case the schools try is the same for everyone across Pennsylvania, and this year, deals with arson.
The teams prepare to try the case from both sides, the prosecution and the defense.
Each side must perform an opening statement, three direct examinations for their own witnesses, three cross examinations for the opposing witnesses, and a closing argument.
The students practice most days after school, and on the weekends.
They put in a tremendous amount of work into it, and this year, it is paying off!
Team captain, Madi Augustine, is sad to leave the team after four years.
“Mock trial is a great opportunity for students to learn about time management, and public speaking.
“It really helped me become more confident throughout my four years in high school.”
Team captain Matt Smith is proud of the team this year, “It’s great to see the newer members of the team learn and grow throughout the season.
“I can tell this team will continue to progress this year and next and have great success.”
The team would like to thank their coach, Marissa DiMartino, who spends so much time assisting the team and encouraging them to do their best.
“Going into this season, most of our student attorneys graduated last year.
“We knew we had a lot of ground work to do to rebuild our team; in spite of that, this team has stepped up to meet that challenge.
“We took out the top two teams from last season which speaks to our effort and success thus far.
“I am extremely proud of my students and look forward to continuing to exceed our expectations as we move on in the competition.”
The team would also like to thank their attorney advisor Curt Parkins for his constructive input and confidence in the team.
“I am extremely proud of everyone on the team, especially the newest members,” said Curt.
“We thought that the team we had the last couple of years was our best, but this team is even better.”
Good Luck in semifinals to everyone on the team!
Until next time!