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The Mock Trial Club

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Nada Alfawair

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Imagine a courtroom filled to the brim with tension. The Prosecution lawyers are on one side, and the Defense on the other. The lawyers are objecting left and right, while the jury tries to wrap their minds around how such a heinous crime could be committed. After tears were shed, and venomous words were yelled, the trial ends.

If that description intrigued you in any way, then the CHS Mock Trial Club is where you should be! Every season a fictional criminal, or civil case is given to each school. Mr. Vanderhey and Mr. Gonzales, the team’s coaches, prepare a handful of students to fill in roles of the witnesses and lawyers. The club requires time and attention, but can be very fun and interesting for any student that is looking to be a lawyer or actor in the future.

The CHS Mock Trial Club has won state championships four times since the club was brought back during the 2013-14 school years. They were even invited to attend Yale’s 2017 summer Bulldog Competition for Mock Trial Clubs nationwide, where they placed eighth.

However, if acting or becoming a lawyer isn’t an interest of yours then don’t worry! The club also has artistic video competitions, art based on different law related topics, and poetry/short story competitions. There is a place for everyone on Mock Trial.

Mr. Vanderhey, one of the teams lead coaches, says that they value “honesty, and integrity” with everyone and anyone trying out for a spot on the team. Mock Trial is an “academic team that competes in tournaments that have all the drama and intrigue of a blockbuster Hollywood film.” They also love to contribute to the community by helping out at St. Peter’s Haven, and Passaic County Women’s Shelter.

Currently the team is working on the case of United States vs. Michael Davis, which is a very sensitive sexual abuse case. They are also having a teacher debate on March 28th at 3:00, right after school. The first round will be Mr. O’Reilly vs. Mr. Meck, while the second round will be Mr. Henry vs. Mr. Rogers, with the debate topics varying. The tickets are only three dollars, and the doors are welcome for everybody. So come out and support your team’s Mock Trial team, and sign up to become a member of their club!

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