Mock Trial Team has Their Day in Court


William Lu, News Associate

Despite the upsurge of PDS’ recent athletic achievements, we must not forget the exceptional job our Mock Trial team has done representing our school in the Mercer County Championships. Just a little over a month ago, the PDS Mock Trial team defeated Marshall Academy in a long and difficult battle to claim the title of county champion for the second year in a row. Thanks to a strong effort from each and every one of the competitors, they were able to rally from a few shaky setbacks to ultimately prevail, anchored by a strong closing statement by senior Alex Neumann.

To even reach that point was a daunting task, the Mock Trial team  had to overcome numerous obstacles including beating the likes of Lawrenceville and Princeton High School in the preliminary rounds of the tournament. Our consecutive titles have established the PDS Mock Trial program as one of the most prestigious and dominant in the region, separating ourselves from the pack thanks to the hard work of this group.

Mock Trial is a high school program that simulates the occurrences of a real courtroom, pitting schools against each other in a competitive and heated atmosphere. Consisting of six seniors, five juniors, and one sophomore, our Mock Trial team worked tirelessly since the beginning of the school year to ensure their success, meeting two times each week to perfect the nuances of the case. This season, the Mock Trial team accomplished much and created many memorable experiences along the way.

“My favorite part of Mock Trial is the people, “ said senior Bharat Nagalamadaka, a plaintiff attorney. “ I doubt that anyone can find such a tight-knit group of individuals who are willing to work as hard as we do to achieve a common goal.”

It is clear that the Mock Trial team’s  common love for the courtroom brings them together and is a driving factor behind their success. Throughout the year, they have bolstered their public speaking skills and gained invaluable knowledge about the ins and outs of the legal scene, many of them hoping to someday pursue a law career. Under the expert guidance of History teacher Chris Rhodes and English teacher Barbara Walker, along with professional help from attorney coaches Kathy Flicker, Mike Rosenberg, and Scott Rosenberg, the team thrived, benefiting from their experience, dedication, and passion towards the program.

What does a typical Mock Trial practice look like? “At this stage of the competition, we usually start practice off by planning out what each individual wants to work on. Then we split off into various groups to help out with different portions of the case so that everyone can concentrate their efforts on what they’re best at,” explained Nagalamadaka. “This organized partitioning of practice time is what differentiates our team from others, for they operate much more efficiently with a regulated time schedule.    

However, even the most dedicated efforts sometimes fall short. PDS was knocked out in the second round of the competition, blocking their advancement to the state round. The fact that they claimed the county title is impressive enough, however, so be sure to congratulate your classmates if you see them in the halls!