On Friday, Feb. 28, eight teams including the Kingswood Oxford Mock Trial team participated in the elite eight in the Civics First CT mock trial competition at the Middletown Superior Court. KO is one of the 10 teams from the previous round at Hartford Superior Court on Friday, Feb. 7, where the defense beat Conard High School, and the plaintiff side knocked out Ellington High School. The team is coached by Middle School Journalism teacher Lynne Levine, as well as KO parents including attorney Theresa Ravalese, Judge Matt Budzik, and attorney Melinda Powell.
This year’s case is about a high school track athlete’s mother who is suing the school because of a possible overdose; she claims that the team encouraged her son to use steroids. KO’s Mock Trial team represents both sides of the case. Each member of the team knows the case and their role well as they have to memorize their lines, instead of being able to read off a script.
The team worked hard every practice in order to prepare themselves for the upcoming competition. “We have been working on polishing our performance, being more natural, and using our superior knowledge of the law to the best of our ability in trial to shut down our opponents,” senior Co-captain and lawyer Aidan O’Loughlin said.
A skill Aidan thinks that mock trial allows people to practice is to think on their feet, which can be used outside mock trial, such as when analyzing a text. “Lawyers need to think on your feet a lot, and if you are defending objections, there is a lot of memorizing questions too,” he said. He added that being a witness requires good acting skills. “For a witness you have to really be quite a good actor because you have to basically memorize an entire person and all the facts that they know and play as that character.”
Prior to the competition, Aidan was hoping that the team could work hard to advance to the next round, ultimately win the state competition, and advance to the final. “We hope to win the competition this year and attend nationals,” he said. Last year in the final four, we felt that we should have won a trial that the judges scored incredibly close but in favor of the other team. This year we are up against that same team in the elite eight, and hope to take them down and finally win our states competition.”
The KO plaintiff side knocked out their opponent, Old Lyme High School on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Middletown Superior Court. They will advance to the final two, where their opponent will be a strong Weston High School team, on March 30.