Mock Trial competes in Moot Court

Lakxshanna (Lexi), Clubs Editor 

At the start of the school year, the Mock Trial team was invited to participate in the Metropolitan Mentor Moot Court Competition at the Federal Courthouse in Central Islip for the first time to argue case law 

The Mock Trial team typically conducts complete trials where students act as attorneys and witnesses. Moot Court was a new experience as it is a different style of debate. Moot Court differs as it consists of an oral argument for each side with a rebuttal, a whole trial is not conducted. 

In a moot court, a petitioner and respondent present their cases to the court justices and they have to be able to use their knowledge of relevant cases for their argument. You have to know a lot, all of the case elements, [applicable] cases, and you need to be able to argue that to [persuade the justices], said Mock Trial adviser Sandra Braun. 

Students were not allowed to use witnesses or evidence to make their case, just legal precedent. 

[Moot Court] definitely taught me how to think on my feet. I guess I’ll find out how much I learned from it when I get to law school and do more Moot Courts,” said president, senior Ariana A. 

Students that were chosen to participate received mentoring prior to the competition from two attorneys and two law students that volunteered their time. However, these coaches were not allowed to help their teams once the mooting began. 

It was a wonderful experience to have real life attorneys and law students come and help us form our arguments prior to the trial. They offered insight and taught us practical law techniques that helped us to excel on the day of the competition,” said vice president, senior Izza Malik. 

Students argued whether a high school violated the fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendment rights of a student by detaining him without prior notice. The teams received background for the scenario which they used to determine which cases to study for their oral argument. 

All four of us from Commack won in every argument. There were two of us debating about the fifth and fourteenth amendment, and two about the fourth and fourteenth,” said Aghili. 

The Mock Trial team hopes to continue to participate in Moot Court and challenge themselves in the following years. 

“It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Braun. 🔳