Mock Trial closes the case on a successful season


Kelly Doherty

Justin Som, a junior running for club president, addresses Mock Trial during their final meeting in E2.

Kylie Lin, Scotlight Editor-in-Chief

When it comes to Mock Trial, Carlmont is one of the best public schools in the county. By winning third place at this year’s regional competition, Mock Trial finished with their best performance in nearly a decade.

“I think, overall, the team hasn’t done this well since the late ‘90s,” said club adviser David Gomez.

Mock trial is an inter-school competition, where students are provided a made-up case by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Students role-play as attorneys and witnesses and defend their case in front of a professional judge.

Carlmont outperformed Hillsdale High School — a previous champion at regionals — and came close to defeating Menlo School, who went on to win to third place in the state competition.

Mock Trial’s success was backed up by ample hard work and practice. According to senior and current club vice president Sonia Mahajan, Mock Trial came with a large time commitment for its members.

The first semester had members meet once a week for practices, but the club ramped up their intensity going into the second semester, increasing practices to twice a week. Meetings were two hours each, meaning that members devoted around four hours weekly towards practicing for competitions.

“We were really prepared this year,” said Heather Pritchard, a junior and three-year club member. “We didn’t win our regional competition like we wanted to, but we did a really good job and worked hard.”


On March 28 at 6 p.m., the club held their final meeting in E2; it was a potluck to celebrate the end of the season. Members ate, drank, and reflected on their time in Mock Trial.

Freshman Albert Li, one of the newer club members, said, “I learned a lot of new things, and although it’s just a simulation of reality, sometimes it got really emotional.”

The meeting was also held to select club officers for next year. Pritchard will be the new club president, and Josh Vendrow, a junior, will be the new vice president. These new officers plan to lead Mock Trial towards regionals in 2018.

For the next school year, students who join Mock Trial can expect both a fun and educational environment to participate in.

Mahajan said, “The club atmosphere is really supportive. It’s a great place for [students] to learn about public speaking, about gaining confidence, and about just expressing their views.”