The Start of a New Season – Gold Edition

MMA’s Mock Trial is a force to be reckoned with, you do not want to come unprepared! Mock Trial is an extracurricular activity where students prepare statements for a fictional (could also be based on real-life people) court case written and organized by the Bar Association of Pennsylvania. This process takes a few months until the students compete in the Mock Trial Tournament at the University of Pennsylvania. The students will then move on to the Bar Competition. Merion’s Mock Trial 2021-2022 teams have performed exceptionally well, becoming the Co-Champions of Delaware County. The Gold Team moved on to states, making it to the top schools in the State of Pennsylvania! Now, the new season has begun for MMA Mock Trial. 

MMA’s Gold Mock Trial Team had their first meeting on November 11, 2022. The team went over the case materials, which include witness statements, jury instructions, verdict form, court opinions, and exhibits. They discussed the game plan with Coach John, the Mock Trial Coach for Gold, for this year, which will stay a secret! Gold also started their direct statements for the witnesses. Some of the members of the Gold Team added their opinions about this year’s case. 

MMA’s senior, Tessa Purcell ‘23 commented, “I think this year’s case is interesting because it is unlike any of the others I have participated in. One of my favorite parts of Mock Trial is the themes of the case and how we embrace them in our characters. This year’s theme is Extreme Obstacle Course Racing, a niche topic that not many people have experience with or know about. I think that it is fun to pretend to be an expert on something I am completely indifferent about because it can lead to new hobbies and interests. However, this can lead to potential challenges, as it is a very unique topic. With all this being said, I believe our dynamic and inspired team can embody this year’s case and bring home another championship this year!”

Another MMA senior, Saturn Barnes ‘23 added, “This year’s case is unique- as I’m currently on the plaintiff side, I’m enjoying figuring out the burden of proof. The story behind the case is also interesting— I find the obstacle course premise fascinating, especially with the unique expert witnesses that specialize in the design of the courses!”

A returning member of the Gold Team, Kiera Everly ‘24 said, “Personally I like the case and I think that there’s a lot of arguments for both sides. For example, one party did sign a waiver, but also there was obvious neglect on the side of the defendant, like employees that didn’t pay attention or understaffing the obstacles. My favorite witness is probably the one assigned to me. My least favorite is a bad person who obviously doesn’t care about the deaths! Also, my favorite exhibit is one that says, ‘you might break your ankle, sorry about that’ because that’s such a weird sign to have.” 

Justine Weng ’25, Ricordia writer and new member of the Gold Team commented, “This year’s case is definitely quite interesting… I think the team can agree that this year’s exhibits are absolutely hilarious. One of them actually says, ‘Jump quickly, management reserves the right to push you off.’ I’m not a huge fan of the witnesses this year, but I know I despise one with my entire soul. I definitely agree with Kiera on this one! Honestly, I can’t wait to dive deeper into this case and prepare for competition!”