Bringing their best to court


The Mock Trial team is determined to finalize their closing arguments for the last few competitions of their season in March.

For the first time in over 20 years, Diamond Bar High School’s mock trial team will proceed to the state finals competition in March.

After a successful final round against Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, the team came out victorious with a score of 701-690. Members attributed this win to their strong objections and striking testimonies.

“Personally, I got three [objections] sustained in a row [and] also my other co-counsels [made] a lot of objections that threw the other team off,” prosecuting attorney junior Alexandra Chala said.

The group also recognized prosecuting attorney senior Eileen Zu as a strong component to the team as her presentation, incorporation of case information and delivery of the closing statement contributed to the team’s overall success.

“To pull off such a flawless closing was amazing, but not only that, she revised and basically rewrote it within 72 hours,” prosecuting witness sophomore Ashley Cha said via Instagram. “During our actual trial, she pulled it off as if she’d known it since the beginning of [the competition season] and she added details [from] the opposing counsel to her statement which made it all the more memorable for both the judge and our team.”

Due to their victory in this most recent competition, Mock Trial will be taking a short hiatus while they await the finals championship. However, they will resume practices in early February to prepare for the event. 

“The only thing we need to work on for state championships is to get even better at objections and recapture the magic of the performances from the last two rounds of competition,” Mock Trial head coach Latitia Thomas said via Gmail. 

In regards to the anticipated state finals, the team hopes to compete in-person at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse because they feel that being physically present before the judge will enhance their performance and make an even better impressionsomething that is difficult to do through a screen.

“It feels amazing [to win finals] because [during] my freshman year in 2019, we went to [the final round] but we got second place and after losing, we had this drive to win,” Chala said. “I wanted to win for the previous teams who laid that work for us to win this year.”

Aside from their court performance-based wins, DBHS courtroom journalist junior Marcus Hsieh placed first for his writing, while courtroom artist junior Susan Zhang placed second for her illustration. 

“The Mock Trial team performance on Thursday, Dec. 2 was spectacular. Every student who performed gave the best performance they have ever given,” Thomas said.