Each year Pella Community Middle School participates in Mock Trial through the Iowa Bar Association. This year, Pella had two teams participate: one 6th grade team and one 7th and 8th grade mixed team. Each team worked diligently for several weeks to prepare for Regional Mock Trial competition.
On November 8, 2013, a Jr. High Mock Trial Regional Competition was hosted at Pella Middle School by Melissa Wimmer. A total of 10 Mock Trial teams from surrounding areas came to Pella to compete, with only two teams advancing to State. Both teams did a great job. The 6th grade team was 2-0 and would have went to State if three teams were selected instead of two.
During Regionals, a participant could receive awards for Outstanding Witness and/or Outstanding Attorney. In order to receive Outstanding Attorney or Witness, students must be nominated twice during a round or score at least 33 cumulatively. The following students received awards:
Outstanding Witness: Grayson Parisee, Annaleigh Babcock
Outstanding Attorney: Grayson Parisee, Joe Beukelman, Rebekah Fyfe, Adam Smart
Students nominated once as Honorable Mention for Witness: Garrett Johnson, Austin Adrian, Adam Smart
Honorable Mention for Attorneys: Jacob Nedder, Makayla Thompson
Mock Trial is designed to introduce students to the legal system by providing them with a challenging academic competition. The program offers students an opportunity for personal growth and achievement while emphasizing the importance of research, presentation, teamwork, communication, and basic life and leadership skills. In addition to teaching students about contemporary public issues and the legal system, the program encourages teachers and students to develop learning partnerships with professionals within the community. Lawyers from communities throughout Iowa contribute their time and expertise as attorney coaches and judges.
In Mock Trial, students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses, as well as prepare and present both sides of a hypothetical legal problem. Participants are given a hands-on opportunity to examine the legal process and current legal issues. Mock Trial also helps fundamental research. Mock Trial also helps students increase basic life and leadership skills such as active listening, speaking, writing, reading, and analysis. It also offers a positive experience with the legal system, bringing courts to young individuals rather than the opposite.
This year’s case was the State of Iowa vs. Allyn Funt. Teams needed to build a case to determine whether the defendant was guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter, as a participant in one of Allyn Funt’s stunts’ died.
All Mock Trial participants would like to extend their gratitude to the following community members for judging at regionals: Lori Koop,Terri Menninga, Tim Tripp, Jack Parisee, Claire Anderson, Andrew Green, Emily Rouse, and Wes Chaplin. The following attorneys contributed their time and expertise, helping the students tremendously by giving tips and judging scrimmages: Lori Koop Dorman, Terri Menninga, and Tim Tripp.