WRENTHAM — Superintendent Paul Zinni and Principal Lisa Mobley are pleased to announce that the King Philip Regional High School Mock Trial team has won two trials during the preliminary round of a statewide tournament and has qualified to compete in a tie-breaker trial.
The statewide mock trial tournament, organized by the Massachusetts Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Program for the 36th consecutive year, is being held virtually this year. The preliminary round of the competition, which began in January, includes three trials and is followed by knockout format rounds culminating with a state championship.
As part of the preliminary round, the King Philip Mock Trial Team defeated Foxborough Regional Charter School on Jan. 17 and Lowell Catholic High School on Jan. 23.
The KP Mock Trial Team will now go on to compete against The Winsor School in a tie-breaker trial on Monday, Feb. 14.
As part of the competition, students from across the state have the opportunity to test their skills as lawyers and witnesses in a simulated courtroom competition. Throughout the competition, students learn about the fundamentals of the American judicial system and how it can impact their lives.
“Through this tournament, students gain a working knowledge of our judicial system and develop analytical and communication skills, which will benefit the students beyond high school,” said Elizabeth Nowakowski, attorney coach for the team.
The team, which began meeting in September, meets at least twice a week beginning in October to study the year’s case and to practice roles. As part of the mock trials, students act as lawyers and witnesses, develop a legal strategy, learn about objections and court procedures, and create opening statements and closing arguments.
This year’s King Philip Mock Trial team is comprised of seniors Andrew LaBerge, Jonathan Fornash, Lauren Greychuck and Samir Ihjul, juniors Liam Hickey, Philip Harmon, Alexander Stock, Helena Bekele, Katherine Quinn, Owen Klobucher, Abdi Mohamed and Marcello Madrazo, and freshman Ciara Kissell.
“The Mock Trial Team, which is still a relatively new team at our school as it’s only in its third season, is a great opportunity for students who are interested in the law to practice mock scenarios,” said the team’s coach and science teacher, Joseph Gianoppoe. “While the Mock Trial Team is a lot of hard work for our students, it’s incredible just how far they’ve come and how much they’ve grown their abilities in this short period of time.”
Nowakowski, a Professor of Paralegal & Legal Studies at Bristol Community College who has been working with the team since its creation in 2019, said that the students had been doing an “amazing job this season competing against great teams and performing extremely well under the pressure of the fast-moving action of a trial”.