The Raider Review

ERHS Mock Trial Team Beats Previously Undefeated Northern High School

Bessie Huang, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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On March 6, 2018, the ERHS Mock Trial team beat Calvert County’s previously undefeated Northern High School in the second round of the Circuit 7 Mock Trial playoffs.

“When I heard the results, it was amazing,” sophomore Brianna Lea, who joined the team just this year, recalled.

Another first-year member, junior Darrell Mensah, said that “in the forty years [the playoffs have] happened, Eleanor Roosevelt hasn’t won once, so if we can win, oh my god…I’m getting excited just thinking about it.” He mentioned that he initially joined Mock Trial because he was interested in becoming a lawyer. “It was a pretty good decision,” he grinned.

Currently, the team is preparing for Round 3 of the playoffs, which will take place on March 13, 2018. “We are trying to look at what went wrong in our cases…trying to work on what we have already that’s good…trying to make that stronger…trying to look at the case from different angles to…see how we can improve overall,” Mensah summarized.

“I practice with [my cross lawyer] to get me prepared for other teams trying to cross me during a case,” said Lea. “It helps me be creative with the way I answer questions.”

Senior Mumtahina Tabassum, who joined Mock Trial her freshman year and is now captain and head prosecutor lawyer of the team, explained that the team may also practice by setting “our prosecution against our own defense.”

Tabassum reflected that she was “really, really shy” as a freshman. “I was kind of interested in law, but I just really wanted to make sure that I could do public speaking, or that I wasn’t that shy anymore…Mock Trial really gave me the courage to speak to people. When you’re speaking in a courtroom, everyone’s looking at you, hearing your argument, and a lot of times you have to come up with things on the spot, like when you’re objecting, or when another lawyer is trying to counter you.”

According to Ms. Dunbar, the team’s sponsor, the team implements the help of lawyer Jade Mathis, who is a prosecutor in Prince George’s County. “She coaches the kids on how to do better and how to improve their testimonies and questioning. She usually tries to come once a week for sure, and sometimes twice a week.”

“I’ve been really proud of everyone,” said Dunbar. “I appreciate how everyone [on the team] pulls their weight.”

The members of the winning team are listed below:

  • Abigail Aderinwale
  • Kendall Chappell
  • Anna Elesignmogun
  • Timothy Kawasaki
  • Brianna Lea
  • Darrell Mensah
  • Priscilla Nalubula
  • T’amani Ramseur
  • Frederick Rukhkamaa
  • Daneil Shaibu
  • Mumtahina Tabassum
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ERHS Mock Trial Team Beats Previously Undefeated Northern High School