Mock Trial Places 5th at Empire Mock Trial Competition

Kristi Bui ’16
EE Co-Managing Editor

IMG_5029On the week of September 9, the Trumbull High School Mock Trial team competed in the international Empire Mock Trial competition, hosted in Atlanta Georgina. The Mock Trial team placed 5th overall in the week-long competition, the best the team has ever finished so far in history. In addition, senior Astonique Robinson received the award for most Outstanding Attorney during the competition.

The competition began with scrimmages between state teams, then followed with the actual competition. The case for this year involved police brutality and a young African American boy in a coma. Scoring for Empire differs from the state mock trial competition; rather than having eliminations, there are rankings. Thus, how the team performed in each trial affected the overall record.

Robinson described the team’s feelings at the opening of the competition.

“On the first night during opening ceremonies, the team from Georgia had preference to challenge other teams,” said Robinson. “Usually you challenge a team you think you can beat to have your record stay strong at least in the beginning. We ended up being challenged by California which is a huge deal. Mock Trial teams from California are usually amazing, so the pressure was on for our prosecution team. I cross examined the main defendant in the case and I gave the closing my argument as well. That first trial was tough, at any point in the trial either team could have been winning. We rose to the occasion because we understood how good we can be, against California or anyone else. At the end, one judge voted that we won and another believed we tied. So technically, we walked out wining that trial which was awesome, it was a great start to the tournament.”

The students in the Mock Trial team prepared for the competition most of the summer. Beginning in the end of June every week, the students began preparing and slowly progressed to meeting everyday over the summer.

Robinson expressed her feelings on winning the Outstanding Attorney award. “I’ve always been confident in my abilities as an attorney but I was not expecting to win an outstanding attorney award,” Robinson stated. “There were so many attorneys and they were all good so to receive recognition was really awesome. There was one night that I woke up in the middle of the night and stared at the bathroom wall learning my second cross examination and winning the award made moments like that so worth it. It was an honor to be recognized by real attorneys because they know how it actually works. I’m the first person in the history of Trumbull Mock Trial to win an outstanding attorney award at Empire, so I hope that there are more to come.”

Senior Sarah Angelo was another member of the Mock Trial team who went to the Empire Mock Trial competition.

“I was a witness named Lieutenant Sam Sachs,” Angelo said. “I worked in the police department and my job was to investigate and look into complaints against officers. It was really fun to perform, and meet people from different places. I made a lot of new friends.”

Although having a lot of fun at the competition, Angelo stated that it was a lot of work to prepare for and compete at Empire. “I won’t lie, it is fun and all but [it’s] very competitive. It takes a lot of time and effort, rewriting things constantly until it’s to the best of your ability, but at the end of the day it’s completely worth it,” Angelo said.

Apart from competing at Empire, the team also spent time bonding by going to various places in Atlanta. The Team got to attend a Mets vs. Brave Game while there, and additionally had the chance to visit the Martin Luther King Museum and visit his grave.


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