Mock trial team prepares for regionals


Emily Kolominsky

The Mock Trial team figures out a plan for regionals.

Emma Andrews, Guest Writer

The Mayfield High School mock trial team won districts and now sets their course for the regional competition.

The competition will be held today, Feb. 15 at the Lake County courthouse in Painesville.

Junior Yash Ghosh, the president of the Mock Trial team, says that for the upcoming competition, the team is doing a case about a young man named Quinn Woolf who was caught stealing government-owned money on a drone camera. Ghosh said, “The case is surrounding whether or not those images were a violation of Quinn Woolf’s 4th amendment rights. We’re determining if that evidence should be suppressed because it was a violation or if it was not a violation.”

As the date of regionals gets closer, the team has meetings three days a week when they go over their parts in the case and practice to improve everything. Ghosh said, “It’s just practice, practice, practice so we can better our questions and make sure that we’re all on the same page and prepared both as witnesses and lawyers.”

The team meetings can interfere with the students’ schedules but Ghosh states it’s worth it for the win. He said, “it doesn’t really leave much time for me to do much else but it’s just when we’re that close to a real competition that we have to win, I definitely think it’s worth the sacrifice of time if we are able to keep going and keep succeeding.”

The team has professional lawyers come in to guide them. Ghosh said, “We have two advisers [Eddie Fadel and John Fatica] and they’re both attorneys so that’s why we don’t meet immediately after school.”

Sophomore Emily Kolominsky is another member of the mock trial team who enjoys having the advisers around for quick and easy access for any questions she, or others, may have. She said, “Having the two advisers there really helps us because they are actual lawyers so when we aren’t sure about something, we can look to them and they’ll give us the proper advice that we need.”

Each competition is a standard process so the team knows what to expect upon arrival. Ghosh said, “What happens is we have two sides and then they’ll each have their own trials, ones in the morning and ones in the afternoon, and then if we win both trials we move on.”

Only some of the team members are able to advance to regionals, but that doesn’t hold the team back. Ghosh said, “Our team was cut in half because only one half of our full club was able to move to advance. Even with that, everyone is still coming to practices and were still practicing like we’re both going to competition.”

Sophomore Eman Naseerkhan, an additional team member, sees the decrease in team members to be beneficial and looks on the bright side. She said, “It can be helpful because we have different points of view on different things so we can be more prepared.”

The cases that the team have to imitate are given to them at random. Ghosh said, “Every year, OCLRE [Ohio Center For Law-Related Education] makes one case with various witnesses and exhibits. It’s our job to adapt those things into individual arguments. We don’t have a say.”

The team finds out who they are competing against when they first arrive at their designated location. He said, “We don’t know which specific teams we face until we get to competitions.”

Despite not knowing the competitors until arrival, once all teams appear, they are are allowed to meet and discuss how the trial will go. He said “at the beginning of every trial there’s a pretrial conference where you’re allowed to meet with the other teams.”

Kolominsky plays a witness, while Ghosh is a lawyer. She said, “In a witness statement there’s basically everything you need to know about your character and you should know every little thing so that when someone asks you a question, you’re ready for it. The lawyers, they don’t get a set or number of statements. They have to make everything up so it’s a little harder for the lawyers.”

Naseerkhan says that participating in the afternoon trial helps to benefit her more as a witness than the morning trial does. She said, “I was in the second trial [for districts] and it was nice being able to watch the first trial because I got to see what the whole setup was like and watch another person play my character.”

After each trial, each individual gets their own score. Kolominsky hopes that she can go to regionals and finish with a better score than she received at districts. She said, “I’m really motivated to bring up my scores because I want to improve myself and be good for regionals.”

The team says they’re really motivated to better themselves and to keep on winning this season. Kolominsky said, “The meetings take up a lot more time because [closer to competition] we meet four-to-five times a week and since we are so close to regionals, we want to get everything nailed and perfected.”