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Students develop skills and knowledge of the American Legal System during Mock Trial at JRHS

By Jacob Samuelson, Faculty

This Jan-Term I had the pleasure of working with Lawyers Neil Nicholson and Thomas Philbrick to put on the Mock Trial Project. In this project, students were placed into two teams. One team acted as the state prosecutors, and the other as the defense lawyers. Our esteemed guest teachers took this group of students through the entire process of a trial from beginning to end. As the class started, the focus was on the ability to accurately read a trial record and looking at the broader skills and knowledge needed to work within the American legal system. As we progressed, the focused shifted to a more finite knowledge base that was specific to the case they were trying. These skills included: writing opening and closing statements, designing direct and cross examination questions, learning proper objections, learning the flow of a trial, and learning how to properly address a judge.

On the final day of Jan-Term, the trial was held. After a tough battle back and forth, Judge Nicholson went into deliberation. The room was filled with excited whispers and laughs as the students awaited the decision. Once the session was called back to order, we were all astounded with a split decision! The prosecution put together a great case, but the defense was able to defeat most of the charges!

Many thanks go out to Neil Nicholson and Thomas Philbrick for their expertise, service and excellent teaching this Jan-Term at Jesse Remington High School!

This years Mock Trial teams were:

Prosecution- Aletheia James, Aidan Jeanes, Jacob Comrie, and Esther Cross.

Defense- Gabe Michalman, Keziah Cyr, Lukkas Hyvonen, and Silas Jeanes.

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