CHS Mock Trial Defense Team Preps for First In-Person Competition


The CHS Mock Trial’s Defense Team participated in their first in-person competition on Wednesday, January 26. After a year and a half of virtual competitions, the team is making a comeback to in-person meets. Although there are new regulations to follow the team is excited to practice their skills and represent their school. 

Mock Trial is a group at Calvert High School in which student members receive a case to try that is distributed by the organizers of the competitions, Maryland Youth and the Law. The participants are required to build a case, with the help of their sponsor and attorney advisor. There are twelve members of the team: six on the side of the Plaintiff and six on the side of Defense. Within each of these teams, there are three witnesses and three attorneys. Competitions are scored by lawyers, magistrates, and judges.  

The Mock Trial team competes against other schools in the county, acting as their assigned role of attorney or witness. In these competitions, the teams present the case they have prepared, or defend the opposing opinion. Throughout this process, participants explore the world of criminal and civil law, and learn about court proceedings and norms.  

In the years prior to virtual learning, competitions were held in courthouses. However, in leu of Covid-19 response, the 2020-2021 season was held completely virtually. In comparison, this year’s competitions are being held in a hybrid format where some competitions will take place in person, and some online. This system has proven more successful. It is easier to practice public speaking and the physical actions of court proceedings that cannot be done in a virtual environment. 

This year the team also faces the challenge of having a new sponsor for the club. Second year CHS teacher, Ms. Amy Hysan has taken over the job of coaching the team. Although she is brand new to the world of Mock Trial, her government teaching experience has provided new insight into the world of governmental and law proceedings, as well as being a supportive mentor.  

So far, there has been two in-person Mock Trial competitions. The Plaintiff’s team competed on January 11, 2022, where they faced Northern High Schools’s defense team. Although Calvert left with a loss, the scores were very close. Many players earned high scores, including witness, junior Taylor Johnson. Johnson was the only member of the CHS team to get a perfect score for that competition. The defense team competed on on January 26 at the LaPlata Courthouse against Saint Charles High School, where they won 51-44.

The team’s Plaintiff captain and four-year Mock Trial member, senior Tyler Seawell, is confident in the team’s current abilities and potential to improve. “I am very proud of this year’s mock trial team. Many of the members of the Plaintiff team are new to Mock Trial, but you would never know it based on their performance and hard work,” said Seawell. “Everyone has put so much effort into this year’s competition and there is not a better group of people I would want to spend my final year of Mock Trial with.” 

The next competition will be held on February 3 at 4:30 virtually against Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and there will be no spectators. This will be the last competition of the year, unless they move on to the playoff round.