Earlier this week, the Mock Trial team competed in the first two rounds. Prosecution competed in Round 1 while Defense competed in Round 2. Everything we’ve been working on for the past two and a half months are finally coming together—and it’s honestly nerve-wracking.
Being an attorney for the Prosecution, I had to compete in Round 1 along with my fellow attorneys, Evelyn and Hannah. I remember getting up and introducing myself to the judge for the first time, my voice booming throughout the whole courtroom—loud, and very surprisingly, clear. I was shocked because I sounded confident, unworried—not at all how I felt: a bundle of nerves on the inside, ready to sprint out of the room if things didn’t go according to plan.
Things didn’t go according to plan.
In Mock Trial, there are lines of questioning called Directs and Crosses. Direct Examinations are where you make the witnesses on your side look and sound as good as possible. You make them tell their stories. Make them spin their own web of truth, not of lies. You try as hard as you can to make the court believe that your witnesses are telling the right side of the story and that they are the ones that are to be believed. Cross Examinations are where you extract facts from the witnesses of the opposing side—facts that make them appear as if their side of the story is wrong, that they are the ones who are telling lies. Most importantly, you extract facts that support your case. Your side of the story.
In Mock Trial, you have 14 minutes for your Directs and 10 minutes for your Crosses. Prosecution always had a hard time with time, always not having enough. And during that first trial, we didn’t time ourselves well and didn’t get to showcase and extract everything we needed to.
Though we didn’t perform as well as we might have wanted to, we won that first round. Deservingly so.
I, frankly, don’t remember Round 2 even though it’s only been a few days. I remember sitting as a spectator (because Prosecution wasn’t competing that night, everyone on the side of Prosecution got to watch Round 2 while Defense competed) and being incredibly angry because of the opposing team. They broke the rule that clearly established that you weren’t allowed to extract facts from witnesses not included in their witness statement and the Fact Situation. Unsurprisingly, Defense won Round 2 as well.