Mock Trial holds first criminal case of the year

The Mock Trial class at the CTE center held their first criminal case on Wednesday. In addition to the trial itself, students had to balance being put in groups with both Virtual Academy students and in-person students.

Frisco ISD

The Mock Trial class at the CTE center held their first criminal case on Wednesday. In addition to the trial itself, students had to balance being put in groups with both Virtual Academy students and in-person students.

Ananda Ghoshal, Staff Reporter

Mock Trial, a class at the CTE Center, had their first criminal case yesterday, where they went to the CTE courtroom and held the trial there. From the beginning of the year, students have prepared extensive knowledge of the necessary skills they need in order to hold a proper trial.

The students spent the first 4 weeks of class learning all of the necessary skills to conduct criminal and civil trials,” mock trial teacher Ben Ewald said. “They were then placed into trial teams and spent three weeks prepping for trial in their teams. As is usually the case, the harder skills or making and responding to objections, and dealing with the rules of evidence, and admitting exhibits needs a lot of fine-tuning and practice.”

In this class, students are not only graded on the assignments they complete before the trial, but also during the trial in their specific roles.

“Attorneys are graded on the quality of direct and cross-examination questions, making and responding to objections, proper use and admittance of evidence, and opening and closing statements,” Ewald said. “On the other hand, witnesses are graded on the quality of their answers to questions, establishing a connection with the jury during testimony, ability to recall any information presented in their depositions or evidence in which they are the proffering witness, and avoiding impeachment.”

Students doing the class over Zoom needed to find ways to work around the problem of not being able to physically collaborate with the group. However, senior Anoushka Majumdar says that the resources Ewald had provided made preparing for the trial easier.

“Mr Ewald gave us a lot of resources that I used to formulate my questions and arguments, and my team helped me a lot too,” Majumdar said. “I think it was a huge struggle for everyone because we were all trying to practice our side of the trial over Zoom. Since we were only allowed to come into the courtroom on the day of the trial itself, adjusting to the environment was sort of difficult.”

As the new marking period is fast approaching, the class will be moving onto a civil case. The difficulty of the cases presented will be increased, allowing the students to adapt and apply their critical thinking and reaction skills to the next level.