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Mock Trial argues its way to the Elite Eight

By Denebola
Published: March 2008

By Roxy Glazier

Over 50 high school students dressed in suits crowded into a small room at the Quincy District Courthouse on March 13 in sweltering 80 degree heat. The room, about the size of a Newton South classroom, was so small that several students could not sit down.
Despite the uncomfortable conditions, the Newton South Mock Trial team emerged victoriously, defeating Marshfield High School with a perfect score of 110 compared to Marchfield’s 107 and extending their record-setting season to the Elite Eight Tournament for the first time in the team’s history.
This match was part of the Sweet Sixteen tournament, where 16 mock trial teams from across the state compete to move on to the Elite Eight.
South qualified for this tournament after a close tiebreaker against Wayland at the Newton District Court on March 5. South scored 82-84.The Mock Trial team will face Bishop Feehan High in the Brockton District Court at the Elite Eight Tournament. If the team wins it will move to the Final Four and have a shot at the State Championship.
One team from each of Massachusetts’ 16 district qualifies for the Sweet Sixteen Tournament by winning all three of their preliminary matches.
South defeated Needham, Belmont Hill, and Lexington before beating Wayland in a tiebreaker. Wayland also won three matches, resulting in the tiebreaker.
Last year South’s team lost their first match but won the following two. The year earlier, the team lost all three matches.
The team learns about the details of the case in November and debates the same case for the entire season. This year’s case is about sexual harassment of high school intern Hal Smith at the software development company LunaTick Games Inc.
Smith was offered a job working for the company but when he spoke up about the inappropriate jokes and sexual harassment directed towards him, the offer was taken back. The company claimed it was due to the quality of his work decreasing but the intern claimed it was due to his complaints. Charges are against the company for retaliation, sexual harassment, and emotional distress.
Members must be prepared to argue both the high school student’s side and the company’s side of the case. In preliminary matches, the team knows which side they will represent. In the tournaments, however, the team’s side is determined by a coin flip.
11 members participate in each match, including 3 witnesses and 8 lawyer roles. Different lawyers makes the opening, closing statement as well as cross-examine witnesses.
The competitors are scored on a scale of one to ten. The highest possible score is 110 points.
Senior and captain Marty Loew believes that the South team has “a very good chance of going all the way.
“We’re hopeful that the hard work will pay off because we’re looking to advance¦and win the state championship, Loew said.

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