WB’s Mock Trial team has successful year

A sitting governor is accused of killing a school principal.
That’s the legal case that high school students all over the state have been fighting over in court in this year’s mock trial competition.
The Western Brown Mock Trial team made it all the way to district competition this year, narrowly missing a chance to compete at the state level.
The team is advised by Western Brown teacher Melissa Brown and by local attorneys Zac Corbin and Nick Owens.
“The kids spend from September up through January learning the case, putting together their sides and the kids actually play the roles.  We have two attorneys on each side and two witnesses on each side.  They spend three months learning their roles,” said Corbin.
The award winning team had a successful year, with Alaina Cowdrey and Ryan Craig both winning a best attorney award and Dana Buttree winning two best witness awards at district competition on January 20 in Batavia.
At the regional competition back in Batavia on February 10, Alaina Cowdrey won a best attorney award and Alanis Daugherty won a best witness award.
Although the team didn’t advance to the state competition, Corbin said that it was very close.
“We lost a split decision to Mason in the morning.  It was very close on the judges scorecards, but they edged us.  In the afternoon, we beat Lakota East on both scorecards.”
Corbin said that he really enjoyed the mock trial season this year.
“The kids were phenomenal this year.  This is one of the best teams we’ve ever had, and most of them are coming back.  We’ve only got one senior this year.  I think we will come back strong next year with a chance of going back to state,” he said.
The Western Brown Mock Trial team advanced to state competition in 2016.
Corbin said that the program offers many chances for kids to grow and develop.
“We have to prepare our kids as best we can, but they don’t know exactly what’s coming.  Even the witnesses have to be able to think on their feet.  I really belive it’s the best academic program for high school students in the state,” he said.
“The attorneys are making objections and they are having to respond to objections.  It’s just like a real trial.  You can’t anticipate everything that’s going to happen.”
Corbin said that the students will be able to use the skills developed in the program for the rest of their lives.
“The ability to develop their critical thinking skills and their ability to speak publically as well as thinking on your feet is a great thing,” Corbin said.
“Whether they decide to go into the law or not, the skills that they learn in mock trial will help them in whatever field they choose to go into.  The ability to get up and speak to people and think about things critically is very important.”
Corbin said that he found his participation in the program personally rewarding as well.
“I could not be prouder of these kids.  For me, there is nothing more satisfying than to watch one of our kids get up and make a spot-on response to an objection.”
Corbin encouraged any students who are interested in the mock trial program to find out who the faculty advisor is at their school is and talk to them about participating.