by Samantha Fredberg
For the first time in 12 years, members of North’s Mock Trial competed against 49 of the best mock trial teams in the country in Boise, Idaho for the National High School Mock Trial Championship May 12-14.
The team placed 31st out of 50 teams in their first visit to Nationals since 2004. “We put in a lot of effort, especially towards the end, and I think we got to where we are because of all the hard work we put in,” said junior Grace Choi, captain.
The team was proud of the work they had accomplished after being named State Champion of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Mock Trial Program on March 29, according to Chen. The state-level win against Boston Latin qualified the team for the National High School Mock Trial Championship.
At the national level, the team competed in four trials. Each trial resulted in a win or loss and a ballot score out of three. North won their first two trials against Indiana and Delaware with five out of six ballots. On their third trial against Nebraska and fourth trial against Tennessee, the team lost.
“If we had won all three ballots in the last trial, we would have had three wins and one loss with eight out of 12 ballots. There’s a high chance we would have placed in the top ten,” junior Eric Chen said.
Chen said that the team was well prepared in their knowledge of laws and the case, but fell behind in objections and presentations. “Our performance was nowhere as strong as it should have and could have been,” he said.
According to Choi, the assigned case for Nationals was about a cattle rancher and sheep herder whose sheep started dying. The cattle rancher was accused of poisoning the sheep.
In the trial, the team did better than they expected, according to Chen. Several members of the team emerged as “mock stars,” he said.
According to Choi, the team hopes to return to the national competition next year. “We have the talent, and if we nurture that talent, we could even win Nationals.”