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The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


AV Mock Trial holds their first self-scrimmage of this school year

Edwin He
Ela Mutaf (’24) addresses the judge while cross-examining a witness. Aditya Dawar (’24) objects to her question.

Dressed in formal attire, the Mock Trial team gathered in Haley Baldwin’s classroom, Q-211, on November 16th.  They are here to compete against each other in a simulated trial of a fake criminal case, complete with witnesses and a judge. 

Mock Trial provides high school students with an early experience of the judicial system. Teams consist of six to 10 members and students play either as the defense or the prosecution. 

“We have a prosecution and a defense team. In the actual competition, only one side of our team will be competing. In our mock competition, we had both sides competing for practice, and we have witnesses who are playing different roles in the trial,” said Mock Trial Club Advisor Haley Baldwin

The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) creates a fictional case for each competition year. Since September, Amador’s Mock Trial team have been writing their prosecution and defense arguments for this year’s case, which they’ve just finished. 

“This [scrimmage] is the first time that [the team has] run through the entire case from beginning to end. Up to this point, they’ve been writing everything and practicing one on one with all the different parts,” said Baldwin

AP US History teacher Mairi Wohlgemuth spectated the scrimmage and Attorney Coach Lori Mullins acted as the judge for the trial. Both gave feedback afterward, which is an important step in helping them smooth out their arguments. 

“I believe [the scrimmage] sets us up for the future. I think it will give us an idea of the place we are at right now. So therefore, we can perfect a few details or fine tune some areas that we’re not completely confident in,” said Witness Allya Mukherjee (‘25).

This scrimmage is the first of many. The Mock Trial team will be playing other schools like Foothill to practice. Scrimmages play a vital role in the preparation of the team for the competition season, which starts in February. 

“Everybody forgets things. People mess up. There’s objections. You have to move on, or  rephrase. [The scrimmage] is about getting back into being adaptable, which you can’t get in the practice setting that we have in our normal weekly meetings,” said Vice President and Defense Attorney Ela Mutaf (‘24).  

Mock Trial requires a lot of work and dedication, but team members believe it’s worth it. 

“I love it so much. We’re definitely a hardcore club. We’re doing mock trials for probably 10 to 12 hours of the week, but it’s really nice,” said Mutaf. “We have a really close knit team and [Mock Trial] is a really valuable experience.”

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