Four students from the MMI Preparatory School Mock Trial team won individual awards and trophies in the Monroe County Invitational Mock Trial Tournament held recently.
For more than 20 years, the Monroe County Bar Association has sponsored a Mock Trial Invitational in which local high schools are invited to participate. Attorneys volunteer to work with a group of students, and along with their teacher advisers, help prepare students for the competition. The local competition prepares participants for the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Statewide Mock Trial Competition in February and March.
Sophomore Garrett Kost, son of Joseph and Natalie Kost, Freeland, earned first place for Best Witness of the entire tournament. Trophies were also awarded for outstanding performances by attorneys. MMI students recognized with trophies were senior Emily Morrison, daughter of Michael and Maria Morrison, Sugarloaf; senior Emily Seratch, daughter of Frank and Sarah Seratch, Hazleton; and senior Claire Sheen, daughter of Kwangsup and Chaeyun Sheen, Mountaintop.
The tournament was held at Notre Dame High School in East Stroudsburg. The trial this year was for a fictional criminal case entitled “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Cecil Pansey.” Cecil, AKA C-Roc, was a rap artist who attended the Pocono Jazz Festival and after being confronted by the paparazzi, attacked one of them resulting in serious injuries to the photographer. The rapper claimed self-defense because the Photographer, Alex Bishop was so close to C-Roc’s children that he and his wife thought they were in danger.
Members of the mock trial teams played the roles of witnesses or attorneys for each trial. All witnesses had to undergo a direct examination from their own attorney and a cross examination from the opposing lawyer. Finally, each attorney had to complete two parts, such as opening statement, direct examination, cross examination, or closing argument. Each team had to present the defense and commonwealth sides of the case to a jury made up of practicing attorneys.
Other students who acted as witnesses were Ali Aijaz, Allie McGeehan, Joshua Narrow, Lexie Van Hoekelen and Andrew Haber.
Others acting as lawyers were Eleanor Maduro, Andrew Alday and Yusuf Qadri.
The MMI Mock Trial adviser is Dennis Clarke. The team’s legal adviser is Attorney Emeline Deiner. The team will continue to practice in preparation for the annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide Mock Trial that will be held at the Federal Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre in February.