Under the guidance of History Teacher Yoni Kadden, Attorney Coach Jeff Cohen, and captains Lev ‘23, Sadie ‘23, and Sophie ‘24, this team thrived. “Everyone on the team has put their all into this season,” said Sadie. “We were amazing, I’ve never seen us like this before!”
In Mock Trial, students are lawyers, witnesses, or supporting researchers, all key roles in a successful team. The group came together to analyze a case study about a pilot who died while performing an advanced trick in a plane. They prepared two arguments: one that the plane was improperly built (prosecution), and one that the pilot was at fault (defense).
On the day of the finals, Gann was assigned defense after losing the coin toss determining sides for each school. “There was no part of me that was like ‘oh no, we’re defense, we’re going to lose,’” said Lev. “Both our arguments are really strong.” In fact, out of the eight trials won this season, four were arguing plaintiff, four were defense.
Gann had 14 students present at the competition, eight lawyers and six witnesses. Continuing their undefeated record, they won 299-286, out of a possible 330 points for each team. Adding to the victory, they won on both merit and points. Teams are scored by each judge, with each lawyer and witness earning an individual score. Though this determines who moves on to the next round of competition, merit wins reveal which team would have won in a real trial, the captains explained. Instead of points, this is awarded to the team that holistically had a stronger argument and convinced the judges of their side. To win both in the state championships is a huge accomplishment!
The win comes after four months of hard work and preparation. “We’ve made a lot of sacrifices. We made people wake up early on Sundays and on vacation,” said Sophie. “It's so great how it worked out!”
Congratulations to the entire team, and good luck at the national level competition in Little Rock, Arkansas in May!