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Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Mock Trial team heads to region

2024+Mock+Trial+Team
2024 Mock Trial Team

Perry Mason and Atticus Finch, arguably the two greatest attorneys in fiction, have nothing on the GRC Mock Trial Team and their attorneys.

A mock trial is a simulated courtroom experience that helps students achieve critical thinking, public speaking, and teamwork skills. Teams work to present a hypothetical legal case in hopes to win the competition. Students act as attorneys, timekeepers, or witnesses.

GRC has two mock trial teams, a black (varsity) team and a red (JV) team that participate in tournaments throughout the fall and winter seasons.

This weekend, both teams compete in their regional competition in Lexington.

Fourteen teams compete in each region and six teams from each go to the state competition.

Both the black and the red teams consist of a plaintiff and a defense. The plaintiff is the party that filed the court case and the defense is just defending themselves. One side from GRC will compete with a side from another school. For example, if the red team defense is competing, the red team plaintiff will watch.

Attorneys question and cross examine witnesses in the legal case presented. They are required to memorize their direct and cross examinations but have to be quick on their feet. They are also responsible for opening and closing arguments in the trial.

Timekeepers are true to their name. They time the trial and let the attorneys know when their turn is up. Witnesses receive a character to portray on the stand. They are tasked with memorizing their direct but have no idea what will be asked on their cross so they have to know their role through and through.

“I think of it as a performance because I am playing a character of sorts, which is where I am most comfortable.” says senior Zach Ross, “I work best under pressure and under the spotlight.”

Sophomore Ella Howton says, “I can’t be a witness when I grow up, so I’m excited to see if I like being an attorney, and if it’s something I want to pursue.”

The Mock Trial program was introduced in 1980 by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. The National High School Mock Trial Championship began in 1984 and only consisted of five states: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The first competition held in Kentucky was in Louisville in 1989.

Building confidence, networking, and gaining life skills are all reasons to join mock trial, even if you are not interested in pursuing a future in litigation.

“It has made me a more confident person, because I wasn’t confident for a really long time”, says junior Ella Mattingly.

Ballots determine the winners of the competition. Three to four jury members or judges cast their vote for the team they think is deserving of the win at the end of the trial. All of the ballots each team earned at the end of the tournament are tallied.

GRC has been very successful so far in the mock trial competitions. The black team placed 12th in the state competition last year, while the red team placed 10th. It’s safe to say that GRC’s Mock Trial teams have an impressive reputation to live up to this year.

GRC has been very successful so far in the mock trial competitions. The black team placed 12th in the state competition last year, while the red team placed 10th. It’s safe to say that GRC’s Mock Trial teams have an impressive reputation to live up to this year.

GRC’s mock trial team is defined as a “power team” and all members are working hard to return to state. We wish them luck in the region competition.
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Janeice Gwynne, Multimedia Staff
One Thursday afternoon in 2007, two parents awaited the greatest thing that’s ever happened to them. This is Janeice Gwynne. She is 16 years old and has lived in Winchester her entire life. She has an older brother who is 21 and graduated from GRC in 2020. Her favorite food is tacos and she is totally obsessed with the actor Tom Holland. Her favorite TV show right now is One Tree Hill and her favorite movie is Pitch Perfect. She is an extremely sarcastic person with a bad attitude when irritated. She also loves to dance and to sing in the shower. She is very much an introvert with a limited social battery but loves to hang out with friends.

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