Mock Trial Team Competes at LaSalle

The students of the PALCS University Scholars Program (USP) Mock Trial Team kicked off the season with a weekend tournament at LaSalle University on January 16th and 17th. The event is the first in a series of tournaments and competitions. This series will culminate for our team at the Chester County Courthouse in late January or early February. The tournament serves as a great opportunity to test out the teams’ case theories, practice objections and courtroom decorum, and give rookie team members a chance to compete for the first time.

The competition in Philadelphia includes mostly teams from our area, but also teams from across the state.  Students competed with teams from Reading, Scranton, and Kennett Square as well as Philadelphia. Of the 32 teams at the invitational tournament, the PALCS-USP team competed with Kennett High School, Lakeland High School, Fleetwood High School, and Roman Catholic High School. The level of competition was tough and the team finished 4-4 out of eight judge’s ballots.  Also, the plaintiff and defense teams each garnered one loss and one win. Both teams are using this week as a way to re-work there case to include new strategies and tactics and hone their use of the rules of evidence.

Team’s informally shared “best advocate” and “best witness” awards after each match. Recognized for their attorney skills were Sam Goldman (twice), Hunter Speakman, and Ethan McPeak. Best witness winners were Gaea Lawton, Jake Adams, Ralph Lawton, and Hunter Speakman. Also, a special thanks to parents Mrs. Speakman and Mr. and Mrs. Lawton for help with carpools and logistics! The next event is this January 2324 at the University of Pennsylvania Benjamin Franklin Invitational Mock Trial Tournament.