Verdict falls on mock trial

Continuing on from last year, the Diamond Bar High School Mock Trial team took part in the LA County Mock Trial competition, placing within the top eight out of 122.

Leading up to the event, the team practiced for two hours a day afterschool, four days a week. In addition, the team spent extra time outside of practice meeting with each other in person and over Zoom for further preparation.

“We mainly practice by going over our direct and cross examinations, as well as opening and closing statements,” senior Julienne Uy said. “Other ways the team contributes to practice are testing witnesses on their statements, helping time our questionings, reading objections, and working on our acting since presentation is a big factor in Mock Trial competitions.”

Despite all this preparation, Uy still said that competitions were tough, especially with the effort needed to put into performance at the actual event. 

“Competitions are always a challenge. We never know what type of team we are going against,” Uy said. “For many team members including myself, competition days are full of anxiety and nervousness, but also lots of excitement.”

Compared to last year, the team was unfortunately not able to place as well, where they placed first in the same competition. However, team advisor Latitia Thomas said that this was one of the best performances given by many of the team members.

“Ashley Cha was the pretrial attorney, the most challenging position on the team,” Thomas said in an announcement about the team. “Ashley has struggled with public-speaking issues, but last night was constantly challenged by the judge to answer clarifying questions, and [she] was unflappable.” 

She also commended the performances of Uy and senior Alexandra Chala, both of whom memorized six-minute closing statements.

“Senior Vishnu Sriram and Alexandra Chala received specific accolades from the judges,” Thomas said. “Chala was the LA County Prosecution Attorney of the year last year as well as this year, so her exceptional performance was no surprise.”

Despite the placements, the members of the team deemed their performances as satisfactory overall.

“Even though our team did not win the championship like we had last year, placing top 8 out of 120 schools is an amazing accomplishment,” Uy said. “There were so many opportunities to grow, learn, and I am very glad I got to experience the competition season with this irreplaceable team.”

Thomas further commented on and emphasized her satisfaction and happiness with the team’s performance.

“The team works so well together and has such sincere concern for one another. They have devoted countless hours these past two months in our daily after-school practices and Zoom practices, frequently without their coaches, striving to be the best they could for one another,” Thomas said. “We coaches are so proud of them.”