Mock trial witnesses success


Photo courtesy of AMELIE LEE

Six members of the DBHS team participated in the National Moot Court Competition at Duke University in late March after three months of preparation.

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

Crafting arguments with the guidance of a Los Angeles County district attorney for over two months, six members of Diamond Bar High School’s Mock Trial team traveled to Duke University and all reached the second round of the National Moot Court Competition.  

From March 23 to 26, seniors Meghan Shen and Pablo Martinez, juniors Heidi Luo, Amelie Lee and Hamzah Daud and sophomore Ryan Lou competed against 122 other students from around the world.  

“It was a wonderful experience. Not only did we compete, but we also gained advice on courtroom demeanor like how to address the judges and to know what points to bring up,” Lou said.

For the competition, participants were divided into pairs: Martinez and Daud, Lee and Luo and Lou and Shen.

Of the three teams, Luo and Lee were the only Brahmas who made it past the second round and into the top eight.

“[Lee and I] both did not think we would make it that far since it was our first year, but when we did I felt so much satisfaction knowing that all our hard work had paid off over these last three months,” Luo said.

Individually, Martinez was the top Diamond Bar performer as he was recognized as the sixth best speaker out of the other 128 competitors.

Advised by math teachers and Mock Trial coaches Latitia Thomas and Margaret Ku, the teams practiced together from January to March, for two hours a day Monday through Thursday. On Wednesdays, the team had L.A. County Deputy DA Angela Brunson assist them in developing arguments and rebuttals for their sides of the case brief that was given to them by Duke University.

“The judges were very harsh when they were judging us, but it was good for them to grill us that bad. It really tested the abilities we gathered over the last three months,” Luo said.

Despite the tough competition and the intense questioning of judges, Luo still thought that the experience was a valuable one that she enjoyed.

“It was such a great experience and felt so exhilarating, arguing in front of a judge. Being surrounded by brilliant and eloquent students around my age and competing at Duke University was just really appealing to me,”  Luo said. “Next year when I compete in Mock Trial, I can say Moot Court helped my confidence and public speaking skills.”