Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Law Day Tests Trial Skills

Mamie Mayo delivers her opening statement.
Last Friday ninth graders put their negotiation and advocacy abilities to the test in the March Law Day’s Criminal Mock Trial lesson.  Students first viewed scenes from the well-known law comedy My Cousin Vinny and were then given a chance to learn about parts of a criminal trial.  After hearing advice from the volunteer lawyers about how to deliver strong opening statements, witness examinations, and closing statements, students put their legal skills to the test in the case of The People of the District of Marshall vs. Zora Peters.   Armed with the facts of the case in hand, students split into prosecution and defense sides and were challenged to form their own opening statements and questions for the witnesses.  After a mere 20 minutes to prepare, the mock trial was underway.  Some students also acted as judges and with the help of volunteer lawyers called each side to the stand.  Upon completion of the proceedings, a panel of student judges deliberated the outcome.  The criminal mock trial served as practice for next month’s lesson.   On the agenda for April Law Day is the Civil Mock Trial.  A special thank you to all the TMA chaperones, law day coordinators, and volunteer lawyers for making March’s Law Day a success!
Delonte Williams questions witness DaMar Woodruff
Olivia Wilson (left) and Cierra Bailey prepare their testimonies. 

Kesha Payton, Aubrey Goode, and Cer'cia Wallace confer with a lawyer at Hogan Lovells law firm. 

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