Mock Trial gives students speaking experiences

Published 11:44 am Friday, January 20, 2023

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Mock Trial is one of many winter activities offered at Albert Lea High School. Our team consists of students eighth through 12th grade. Students participating in Mock Trial receive a case file full of affidavits, three for each side, evidence, rules and jury instructions. Mock Trial helps students grow public speaking skills and teaches them to think on their feet and think critically. The team has gone through a few coaches in the past years, but our old coach Neil Chalmers has come back to continue on his 17 total years of Mock Trial.

The Mock Trial program currently has two teams split by age group: Albert Lea Red is sophomores and above with one freshman; Albert Lea Blue is composed of eighth graders through freshmen.

We competed in a preseason tournament on Jan. 7; we won both sides of the case, which brought us to the third round where we lost to Chesterton Academy. We placed 17th out of 54 teams. Personal awards were given to members of the team both by the competitors and the judges. These are the awards the other teams awarded: In the first round Alex Schmidt won best lawyer and Marissa Hanson won best witness; second round Courtney Oakland won best lawyer and Carley Ladile won best witness; and in the third round Courtney Oakland won best lawyer and Marissa Hanson won best witness. The judges awarded two exemplary performance awards to Marissa Hanson and one to Alex Schmidt.

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This past Friday both teams traveled to Owatonna for trial; Albert Lea Red went first with a 9 a.m. trial where they represented the defense, and Albert Lea Blue went second with a trial at 1 p.m. where they represented the plaintiff. Both teams lost to Owatonna.

On Friday both teams went to Winona where Blue competed first at 9 a.m. representing the defense and Red went second at 1 p.m. representing the plaintiff.

Mock Trial is a great experience where students can make new friends, learn new skills and explore public speaking. I have been in Mock Trial since seventh grade and have enjoyed every year of it.

Marissa Hanson is a senior at Albert Lea High School.