by Mauricio Altamirano ‘24
By popular demand, the Mock Trial Club (MTC) has returned to Sherwood. In the courtroom where people’s lives are at stake, emotions run high and people may say things they later regret. Imagine what might happen if a couple of utterly inexperienced lawyers are thrown into the mix.
The club’s return can be credited to its veteran members, who were the victorious competitive Mock Trial team champion team two years ago. Combining naive arrogance with a passion for the law, they are convinced that they are ready to tackle something bigger: being part of an actual court case.
These Mock Trial veterans are sick and tired of spending hours preparing for trials that are pretend. The MTC has two meetings per week, which is double any other club. Sometimes, a meeting might even last longer than an hour. “Sure, I get that it’s less than what students do in real law school, but we are definitely putting in more time than other Sherwood students are in their clubs,” explained senior Mark Connors. “I’ve also spent a lot of minutes googling things like, ‘what’s the difference between murder and manslaughter.’”
Connors has put together a legal dream team consisting of himself, junior Tom Kenison, and junior Evie Peake. “If I’m going to read all this evidence and testimony, I want it to be about a real crime that a real person has been accused of committing,” said Kenison, who said that the team is looking to defend someone who seems like he is absolutely guilty. “It would be so cool to get a guy off for murder! It would really show everyone that we belong in an actual courtroom.”
When asked about MTC members trying an actual case, the club sponsor, social studies teacher Katie Jaffe, said that she had not been consulted about the idea. “On the one hand, it’s great that they’re passionate,” remarked Jaffe. “On the other hand, I’m certain that I’ve told all the club members that you have to be granted a license to practice law.”
Connors said that the group is not worried about not meeting any requirements to be in an actual courtroom. “We’re not giving up,” he said. “We’ll appeal all the way to the Supreme Court if it means a chance to defend a killer.”