Mock Trial creates new team



For the first time in four years, 29 Brahmas will stand in court as two separate Mock Trial teams.

The Diamond Bar High School teams, led by coaches Latitia Thomas and Margaret Ku, will compete throughout November in the Los Angeles County Courthouse. Due to the abundance of students who tried out, an additional team was created to allow more students to be involved.

“I had a lot of people try out this year, about 20 more than last year, and that meant I was going to have to cut two thirds of the people that tried out,” Thomas said. “I feel like Mock Trial is supposed to be something that as many people as possible should be able to experience.”

The two teams differ in experience: new members were grouped in Team A while returning members were mostly placed in Team B. According to Thomas, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, which runs Mock Trial, allows each team a maximum of 20 members. Team B has about half that number, which means members will have to take on two roles.

As the name suggests, Mock Trial gives students an opportunity to refine their debate skills while presenting their cases in front of professional attorneys and judges under the proceedings of a court. To prepare for competitions, students devote two hours a day to creating strategies and arguments for and against a defendant from a fictional criminal case.

“[Practices] are kind of crazy because we actually have to practice like we’re in real court all the time,” junior Mock Trial member Angela Medina said. “ For example, Mrs. Thomas is a judge, and if we don’t stand when we talk to her, she just roasts us.”

If Diamond Bar High School Mock Trial makes it past the playoffs and wins the county competition, it can advance to the State Finals in March, then to the National High School Mock Trial Competition.

“I look forward to the same thing every year: the relationship I get to have with the students,” Thomas said. “It’s pretty cool.”