Mock Trial Team Reaches State

After five months of hard work and challenging city finals, the Mock Trial Team placed eighth in state competition in Nashville in March. Serving as attorneys for both the plaintiff and defense sides were seniors William Miller and Stan Smythe and sophomore James Smythe. Performing witness roles for both sides were seniors Smith Duncan and Barry Klug and junior Henry Duncan.
 
“This team made all of us quite proud in four rounds of intense competition,” said team advisor and English Department Chair Elizabeth Crosby. 
“The skills that the boys must sharpen to get [to state] are important ones, applicable not only to a legal career but also to any work they will do in the future that involves critical thinking, writing, public speaking, individual mastery of complicated material, and teamwork,” Crosby added.
 
According to Crosby and co-advisor, Instructor in English Michelle Crews, the teams are predominantly student-led. Captains William Miller, Smith Duncan, and senior Omkar Hosad ran tryouts, planned practices, and made critical decisions about everything from assigning witness roles to deciding case themes and theories. Team attorneys this year were William Miller, James Smythe, Stan Smythe, Hosad, and seniors Jon Staffel and Chris Kerkhof. Team witnesses were Henry Duncan, Smith Duncan, Klug, senior Oyama Hampton, junior Ty Williams, sophomore Daniel Lim, and freshman Everett Miller.
 
Theater Director and Instructor in English Tim Greer coached the teams, working with the witnesses as they formed and rehearsed their characters.
 
Several legal professionals helped the boys prepare for competition. Assistant Public Defender Erim Sarinoglu ’07 and veteran prosecutor Rhea Clift served as coaches. The team scrimmaged before Judge Chris Craft ’69, Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael ’72, federal district court clerk Preston Battle ’07, Judge John Campbell, and attorney Nick Bragorgos (father of Nick ’16, Richard ’18, and Andrew ’20).
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