Taking first at Moot Court


Mock Trial made school history by becoming the first Diamond Bar High School team to win Duke University’s National Moot Court Competition.
This Moot Court competition, held on March 8, simulates an appellate court, in which decisions of another court are reviewed through a Constitutional lens.
In this year’s event, competitors argued for and against both abortion and a physician’s ability to speak to their patient.
“The 10 students that competed in this national Moot Court competition sponsored by Duke were all integral to pushing each other to achieve more and do better,” head coach Latitia Thomas said via email.
Normally, the group would travel to North Carolina to participate in the event. However, because of the pandemic, the competition was conducted online over Zoom. Members were given the option to go on DBHS campus and compete virtually from there or stay at home.
“The experience was quite different than how it is in person. No longer was courtroom demeanor or body language as prevalent since it was all through a virtual setting,” senior Harris Daud said via Instagram. “However, it was still as challenging and interactive as before.”
The 10 DBHS participants were divided into five pairs, four of which made it into the second round. Some of the team members reported that the most challenging part of this competition were the judges’ questions.
“You have to exhibit a really strong knowledge of the case law without getting flustered, and they’ll throw hypotheticals at you,” senior Crystal Tsao said via Instagram. “Basically, we’re only given a [limited] number of cases to use, but the judges can ask you anything they want.”
The competition had several elimination rounds. Out of the four teams from DBHS who passed the first day, only one got out of the single elimination round and went on to the quarterfinals. The duo, Tsao and Daud, moved on to win the entire competition.
“The experience of being able to speak freely about a topic you have researched on for months is truly liberating and satisfying,” junior Vishnu Nair said via email. “Even though the competition was online this year, the endless number of possibilities on how you may present your argument truly makes participating in the competition worthwhile.”