Taking a step forward into the season, Diamond Bar High School’s Mock Trial team competed in their first event of the year, the Civil Rights Federation Mock Trial competition, on November 1.
The two month long competition, usually hosted at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, continues to follow an online format for the 2021-2022 season. Despite this, DBHS members will still participate in-person— meeting on campus and moving between classrooms to fulfill their roles throughout the event.
To prepare for the season, the team attends practices Monday through Thursday for one hour and 45 minutes after school. During this time, the team goes over strategies and procedures.
“Coaching the team has been awesome this year because the students who do Mock Trial are great, motivated and super fun,” coach Latitia Thomas said. “They love what they are doing.”
The now in-person environment is favored by many of the students who had to experience a whole year of online format for the 2020-2021 season. However, the competition is a fusion of both.
“Practices are my favorite part, since you are basically stuck with some of your friends the entire time,” prosecuting attorney senior Eileen Zu said. “Just being able to see everybody in person again is great.”
This year’s case, the People v. Cobey, follows Jamie Cobey who has been convicted for first degree murder of landlord Erik Smith with the use of a Mojave rattlesnake. The students had to prepare for both the prosecuting and defending side with the prosecution arguing that Cobey placed the snake there intentionally to kill Smith, while the defense contends that the snake crawled in there on its own and that Cobey was an innocent bystander.
“Playing the defendant is acting in a sense,” witness sophomore Julian Medina said. “It is challenging with cross examinations as well as defending your own side and refuting the other side.”
The team ended last season in 12th place with the online environment particularly to blame.
“Online competitions aren’t the same as in person competitions because the vibe is entirely different,” witness senior Victoria Wang said via Instagram.
Nevertheless, the Diamond Bar Mock Trial team was especially successful in the past and in an in-person environment. With in-person implementations going back into place, the team hopes to fulfill their primary goal, a victory.
“We don’t know if we won yet but we feel good,” Wang said. “The other team had some sound arguments, but overall we dominated because our attorneys were poised and had a professional demeanor.”