November was a busy month for the Moreau Catholic Mock Trial teams, competing in mock trial scrimmages locally and traveling to New York for the Empire New York Mock World Championships. The Mock Trial Program is composed of a green team, students new to mock trial, and a gold team of returnees.
Mock trial is scored by the casting of ballots by attorney scorers who evaluate the performance of every attorney and witness in pre-trial arguments, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments along with a team extemporaneous score.
The Mariner Mock Trial Gold Team finished in the top 20 at the world championships by winning 4 out of 8 ballots. The team also was honored by the championship organizers with the David Post Spirit of Empire Award for outstanding civility and professionalism.
In the Empire New York Mock World Championships thirty-five teams from around the world, including England, Ireland, South Korea, China, Canada, and top-ranked teams from across the United States, competed in the civil case of Calief vs. Prisons of Western America.
Specifically, Moreau's team faced great teams from Ireland, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina after having practice scrimmages with Springwood High School from England and Massapequa High School from New York.
"From the first day when the team traveled to "Ground Zero" to stand at the Memorial to 9/11 and then to see the Tony Award winning musical "Come From Away," the team was on a journey not to be forgotten," teacher-coach Phil Wilder said. "Their combination of experiences was profound and transformative."
Moreau's Mock Trial Gold Team actually began working on the Calief vs. Prisons of Western America case in June. In preparation for the world championships, they competed against Venture Academy, Lynbrook High School and Carmel High School in mock trial scrimmages. Additionally, to gain a better understanding of prison conditions, they received a guided tour of Santa Rita Jail by Moreau alum and Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern '75.
The Mock Trial Green Team began working on the Constitutional Rights Foundation case of People vs. Davidson, with scrimmages with Elk Grove and Sacramento County Day, then competed in the 5th Annual Moreau Catholic Mock Trial Scrimmage of Champions in early November. Nine schools from Northern California competed with 27 trials conducted. Moreau's Tifa Yeh '18 was honored as top courtroom artist
"We want to give as many students as possible an opportunity to be part of the Mock Trial Program, and to be able to compete at all levels while representing our school," Wilder said.
Now, one gold and green Mock Trial Team is preparing for the Alameda County competition in February, focusing on the People vs. Davidson case. The top high school team competes in the state championship to be held in Orange County in March.