Rise Above in Knowledge

De La Salle's Mock Trial team competes in state

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Rise Above in Knowledge

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By: Gavin Walker

De La Salle’s Mock Trial team competed in the Northwest Suburban Bar Association Mock Trial Invitational in February. The team was assigned the case of “Addison Grant vs. Sam Smith.” In the case documents, Officer Grant suspected Smith of theft, and during the arrest, Smith had a seizure. Officer Grant thought Smith was resisting arrest, and he used force to subdue Smith in order to carry on the arrest. This case focused on the use of force in order to carry out arrests.

“We started preparing for the NWSBA’s 22nd Annual Mock Trial in November,” junior Myles Mattox said. “Since then, 9 students from De La Salle have been reviewing a case and preparing their own argument for the trial. We have spent around four hours every week since November to prepare our case.”

When the event occurred a lot of the members experienced a real court room and debate for the first time. Nervousness and fear were real, but once each member was able to perform what they practiced, it ended well for everybody. The team even read over 50 pages of the case and practiced with a real lawyer, Mr. Robert Vogt.

“The most exciting thing about the Mock Trial Conference was seeing how all of our hard work paid off,” Mattox said. “It was fun seeing how everything we learned through the guidance of Mr. Vogt was used in a real courtroom setting.”
Following the invitational, the Mock Trial team qualified to compete in the Illinois State Bar Association’s Mock Trial State Competition where the team competed against 41 schools across Illinois and came out with two awards. Junior Amanda Bolden and sophomore Jonathan Valenzuela won Most Outstanding Witness.

“It felt amazing to see all of our hard work and effort pay off. Two of our members, Amanda Bolden and Jonathan Valenzuela, were recognized for being outstanding witnesses during the trial,” Mattox said. “Seeing how the months we had to prepare for this trial paid off, we’re happy that it wasn’t for naught. We’re all excited for next year so we can do even better.”