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 2, 2012, 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 three teams advancing to State. Both teams did a great job, each having group participants receive scores of nine, with one ten; ten is the highest score you can receive.
During Regionals, the following awards were given: Outstanding Witness went to Elizabeth Pettit, Austin Adrian, Mandolin Holmes and Rebekah Fyfe. 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 were nominated once as Honorable Mention for Witness: Erin Duenwald and Kaylin Vos. Honorable Mention for Attorneys were R. Cole Bisbee, Kaylin Vos, Elizabeth Pettit, Tatyana Khapochkina, Garrett Johnson, Adam Smart, Mandolin Holmes, and Rebekah Fyfe.
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 Stephanie Blake vs. Hotel Le Roche, a case of determining liability and fault regarding negligence and defamation.
All Mock Trial participants would like to extend their gratitude to the following community members: Lori Koop, Jenny Dorman, Andrew Green, the Central College Mock Trial Team. Each of them contributed their time and expertise, helping the students tremendously.
2012 Mock Trial Participants:
6th Grade- Lizzy Bruxvoort, Kaylin Vox, Katie Masek, R. Cole Bisbee, Carter Briggs, Nicholas Schmitz, Erin Duenwald, Gavin Klein.
7th and 8th Grade- Austin Adrian, Rebekah Fyfe, Caitlyn Fank, Adam Smart, Gabriel Woodard, Garrett Johnson, Mandolin Holmes, Elizabeth Pettit, Tatyana Khapochkina.