Signal Mountain High Mock Trial Team Wins District And Advances To State Competition
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Pictured: Plaintiff team for Signal Mountain Mock Trial team, joined by local attorneys. Team members left to right: (front row) Sara Brooks, Trinity Donnellan, Caroline Cornett and Maggie Meller. (Back row) David Cornea and Max Burk.
The Signal Mountain High Mock Trial team has advanced to state competition this weekend at the historic Metro Davidson Courthouse in Nashville. The team won the district tournament to advance. In the state finals, 16 teams will match legal skills for a chance to compete at the national level in May.
In District 5 competition, teams from Hamilton County Schools competed in four rounds. The top four teams advanced to the district finals. Signal Mountain Red was the top seed in the competition. In district competition, Signal Mountain team members also took individual honors. Trinity Donnellan won the best attorney twice, Luke Whitney, and Sara Brooks won the best attorney once. David Cornea and Maggie Meller were winners of the best witness.
The members of the Signal Mountain Red team are Sara Brooks, Trinity Donnellan, Caroline Cornett, Maggie Meller, Max Burk and David Cornea on the plaintiff side; and Luke Whitney, Ethan Fell, Tehreem Hussain, Ryan McGregor, George Andreescu and Jack Poss on the defense side.
The Tennessee Bar Association provides documents used in preparation for a court case for the Mock Trial competition teams. Documents include a case summary, a copy of the complaint and answer, witness statements and exhibits, as well as applicable law and stipulations for the competition. Students then select members of their team to play the witnesses and attorneys and prepare for the case.
In competition, teams present either the plaintiff or defense side of the case and argue before a judge and jury comprised of local attorneys and judges. The judge and jury give a score from one-10 for the opening statements, each direct examination and cross-examination, each witness and each closing argument. After the final closing argument, the judge and jury retire to chambers to determine the winner of the round, as well as best witness and best attorney. When they return to the courtroom, they give extensive feedback to the members of each team, which helps them to prepare for future rounds.