Independence Mock Trial advances to state competition

In the sixth year of its’ mock trial program, Independence High School has advanced to the State Competition for the first time! There will be two State rounds: one Tuesday afternoon and the second on Wednesday afternoon. Results will be announced Thursday afternoon.

Due to the ongoing health pandemic, all competitions this year have been held via Zoom meetings. The initial competition consisted of two rounds, from which the team advanced to playoffs. With a resounding win in the playoff round, the team earned a spot in the State competition. For the competitions, the Independence team has set up on the auditorium stage with three video stations for the tech team, the attorneys, and the witnesses. That permits sufficient space that the attorney and witness are able to remove masks for their respective parts during the competition.

This year’s case is a civil case in which an individual died due to a lightning strike at an outdoor concert, and the surviving spouse is suing the band for failing to delay or cancel the concert due to the incoming storm. The team began working on the case materials in December, and have prepared a full trial for both the plaintiff side and the defense side. Each side includes an opening statement, three witnesses and their direct examinations, three cross examinations of the opposing team’s witnesses, and a closing argument.

Competition team members are: Jacob Elzey (attorney), Talon Rodriguez (attorney & witness), Molly Rothman (witness & attorney), Jacob Weber of Don Bosco High School (witness), Grace Williams (witness), Norah Hernan-Perez of Spain (attorney), Aidan Anderson (tech manager), Lily Giddings (witness & attorney), Laura Smith (attorney), Matthew Tudor (witness & attorney).

Scrimmage team members are: Kennedy Lamphier, Ryan DeBoer, Josh Hayes, Lauren Miller.

Team Captains are: Talon Rodriguez for Plaintiff side; Molly Rothman for Defense side; Aidan Anderson for Scrimmage team.