SFHS Mock Trial is “Sustained” by 3rd Place Win at District Competition

Celebrating Success. SFHS Mock Trial students pose for a picture with post-competition excitement. After the competition, the club members were looking forward to and anticipating their results.

used with permission from South Forsyth High School

Celebrating Success. SFHS Mock Trial students pose for a picture with post-competition excitement. After the competition, the club members were looking forward to and anticipating their results.

Saanvi Tatipalli, Staff Writer

The SFHS Mock Trial team is one of South’s most competitive clubs, where students compete and enact ‘mock’ versions of court cases with materials from the High School Mock Trial Committee.

Here’s how it works: At the beginning of the year, aspiring students try out for positions on the team. The selected students get their parts and study their characters with the case materials, and then prepare their speeches, questions, and/or answers.

This year’s hypothetical court case is about a shooting; the defendant is Carl(i) Holmes, a worker at a local mini-mart. They were in a troubled mental state when a robbery took place; Holmes shot eight bullets at a young gang member who was seeking safety in the same location. All of this takes place at the Miltonville Mini-Market, an imaginary place that mock trial members work to support using information from the materials.

Student-Attorneys prepare for cross-examinations, direct examinations, and closing and opening statements while witnesses work on getting to know their characters to answer their questions. There are six attorneys, six witnesses and timekeepers, all of whom play a valuable role on the team. One side competition is the Craig Harding Memorial Court Artist Contest, where student-artists draw the court scene while the competition takes place.

When competition season rolls around, the prosecution and defense sides face off against other schools.

Danielle Zeitlin, the president of SFHS team, describes, “Mock Trial has helped me become a better public speaker and quicker at thinking on my feet. Mostly, though, I love the team and the fun we have!”

My goals are to get everyone comfortable with objecting and presenting a strong case. Win or lose, its most important what we learn about the law.”

— Danielle Zeitlin

After prepping hard so far this school year, South Forsyth’s Mock Trial club has gone to the regional competitions. Every year, competitions are normally held in an actual courtroom setting, but for COVID-19 restriction reasons, the final decision was made to host the competitions virtually. 

Rounds 1-4 of the regional competitions were held last week, and the members had so much fun competing and winning against different schools. The mock trial office recently released the district scores, and South Forsyth placed 3rd in District 17 and advanced to the next round.

Mr. Fahey, the club’s dedicated sponsor, said, “In the four rounds of the regional competition our record was 3-1, and we came in third overall which qualifies us for the district competition on March 5th and 6th. We’ve had two attorneys, Danielle Zeitlin, and Shaina Jhanji win outstanding attorney awards, and two witnesses, Hallie Philips, and Jack McQuaid won outstanding witness.”

The team celebrated and is working hard towards succeeding at the next level of competition. This year, our school’s mock trial team has done tremendously well with their efforts and will keep working towards their team goals.