Yorba Linda High School Mock Trial

A judge’s gavel, commonly used during trials that the YLHS students attend, next to a stack of papers, most likely evidence for a case.

A judge’s gavel, commonly used during trials that the YLHS students attend, next to a stack of papers, most likely evidence for a case.

Malieka Khan, Photojournalist

As of three to four years ago, Yorba Linda High School started a mock trial club open for any student to join, run by Mrs. Toxqui, a teacher here at Yorba Linda. Each meeting are about two to four hours on weekdays, and seem to be working as the Mustang prosecution team has won two trials already this year.

These trials take place most Sundays for up to five hours at a time. First the twenty three students in mock trial start with a pre trial, then an opening statement. From there, they call up their four witnesses, and have three lawyers for all the witnesses. After prosecution asks the defense questions, which is followed by what is called “the cross,” where the defense asks their witnesses questions making them look innocent if the prosecution made it look otherwise. Finally, the closing statement is made, which is when each side states their case, whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty, for a final time. From there the judge decides which side wins, resulting in either the prosecution or defense winning.

Each role in mock trial is necessary to have a strong support group and evidence to win a case. This group consists of eight attorney, two pre-trial attorney, two opening statements attorneys, two closing statement attorney, two regular attorney that have two witnesses, two artists, eight witnesses, only two expert witnesses, one bailiff, and finally two clerks. These are all important and necessary roles in mock trial because each student must know their role to successfully win the case they are fighting for. Joanna Jones (9) believes, “Mock trial is an experience you can’t find anywhere else. Whether you like each other or not, you’re a family, and you spend so much time together. There’s a bond, win or lose, we grow as a team and as people.” The twenty three students in mock trial are a family that win and lose together, bringing them closer together every time they present a case. Their friendships have become stronger each day they work together and each student hopes they will keep these friendships for the next few years as well.

The Yorba Linda Mustang mock trial team continues to fight and win cases after three years of doing so. Their last competition was last Thursday, December 1st, ending their season after three successful months. Each team member has grown together as a family spending countless hours together working on their cases and learning how to work together as a well blending team.