Mock Trial

1 January 2017

They would never have been able to accomplish this without the help of the amazing coaches and the dedication of the students. The members of that team graduated last year and the younger kids have to step up and take their place. The team only has three coaches and around thirty members this year, three times more members than the team had three years ago. Only seven of these members have been in mock trial in previous years.

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Every year the Minnesota State Bar Association comes up with a case for the mock trial competitions. Every year the teams have to learn a completely new case, with different arguments. Every year the coaches have to teach students what took them two to four years to learn in law school. With only three coaches, how are they ever going to be able to teach thirty students the concepts of mock trial? The team needs two separate teams, one high school and one middle school team and more coaches. Jim Dunn is the assistant County Attorney and somehow finds time in his busy work schedule to coach.

The second coach, Allison Krehbiel, is the Nicollet County Judge and allows the team to use her court room and other rooms in the court house for practice. Mr. Warren, the third coach keeps the team running by taking care of the scheduling and dealing with the school. All of the coaches have families to get home to and practices already go until six. Adding more time to practices would take away time from their families and take away much needed homework time from the students. Time is money, the more you spend the less you have. By adding more coaches each member will get the one on one time needed and practices will run more efficiently.

The members that have been in mock trial previous years, know more than people who are just joining. Since the team doesn’t have enough coaches, old members are forced to learn at the same pace as new members. The older members are at a more competitive level and need to be able to extend their knowledge past the basics that the younger members are at. To become good at mock trial, one needs the knowledge and wisdom of Athena. This takes time and dedication. By getting the time the older members need with the coaches, they can become a better team. A member of a team that makes it to state has to be in ninth grade or older to compete.

By splitting the team up into a middle and a high school team this rule would never be a problem. The middle and high school teams would be able to learn at a pace, most comfortable for them. Last year, the middle school members never got to actually compete. The new members competed at scrimmages early in the year and never felt prepared for the trials. They felt embarrassed, discouraged, and intimidated by not being ready for these trials. Starting the year off like that made them not want to try hard during practices and led to goofing off in the court house. Using the court house is a privilege and not a right.

If the team is kicked out of the court house they will have to find a new area to practice and nothing can compare to the courtrooms that they are able to use. Mock Trial without a courtroom is like an opening without an argument, pointless. Every member needs to be respectful of the space and try to leave it better than how they found it. The coach’s time, the students’ talent, and the school’s treasure, will help this year’s team. By having two separate teams and hiring more coaches the Saint Peter Mock Trial Team can have another successful year. Thank you for your time.

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