NP3’s Mock Trial Team Makes Winning Arguments

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
The Mock Trial competition has been in the Sacramento region for over 25 years, and in four short years Natomas Pacific Pathways Preparatory High School’s team has risen to the top tier.

Last year, one of the school’s two teams placed fourth in the Sacramento County competition. Several of individual students won awards as well: Victor Batarseh for MVP, Aly Williams for best Direct; Christine Vincent for heropening statement and MVP, and Marco Abarca and Harpreet Kooner received numerous awards.

I love the competition, and the chance for the students to be seen in community and recognized by their peers for their skills and critical thinking,” principal Tom Rutten said.

Recently, NP3’s mock trial program was featured in “Sacramento Lawyer,” the Sacramento Bar Association’s bimonthly magazine. When NP3 became a California Distinguished School in 2010, it was featured on the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge Law School’s website.

Mock Trial is where students alongside their teacher coaches Melissa Mori (history and government), Jake Schuler (economics and law) and Andrea Fazel (government and law) and mentor lawyers Allen Donato and Keith Staten, put together arguments either for or against an assigned case.

The Black and Orange teams (named after the school’s colors) represent either the defense or the prosecution.

Students gain confidence and develop into professionals who can often outshine real lawyers,” said Mori.

This year, the Mock Trial Team hopes to be more competitive and improve their scores. The case material was released in early September – The People vs. Buschell, a second degree murder trial. Competition is set for late February.

Mock trial affords me the opportunity to hone my public speaking,” said NP3 senior Christine Vincent. “Since I joined the team sophomore year I learned a lot about the court system and how to craft a valid argument.”

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