OHS Mock Trial takes the stand


Jennifer Jackson

Witness Ellie Youngquist gets sworn in to testify

Charity Jackson

This season, OHS Mock Trial is facing the competition with the “Owatonna” team composed of a majority of newcomers, and the “Owatonna White” team composed of mainly veteran members. In mock trial, students are given a case and then imitate a trial. The team is presented with a case from the MN Bar Association, and they are given three months to practice. Competitions against other schools take place in a real courtroom, with real judges, where students gain a real experience involving what actual lawyers and witnesses do. Students are scored based on their ability to present their facts and case, or their character rather than whether they win or lose the case. In this year’s case, a county commissioner filed a civil lawsuit against a local newspaper, suing for defamation of character, alleging that a story ran about them was entirely false.

The Owatonna teams bring talented and passionate members to each of their meets. Junior Ellie Youngquist, who portrays a witness for the “Owatonna White” team, said, “The season has been great. All of our teams have been doing pretty good especially some of our newer members.” The “Owatonna” team began their season with one win and one loss at the Minneapple Tournament in Apple Valley, MN. Unfortunately, for the “Owatonna White” team, they came out of the first competition with two losses. During the first round of the competition, both teams won against United South Central’s two mock trial teams. However, some complications arose for the two Owatonna teams during the second round of the competition.

In the second round of mock trial, the two Owatonna teams had to compete against each other. This battle has shaken things up within the club. The two teams had to go nearly the entire time without comparing notes or bouncing ideas off of each other like they usually do. Teams had to practice in separate parts of the building and when the time came, lawyers had to grill some of their closest friends on the stand. Mock trial coach, Mrs. Ann Christensen said, “Even though we are two teams, we are one team. You do not want to have competition within the two teams. Usually, they are supportive of each other, but for that one-week things were complicated.” In the end, the “Owatonna White” team won.

The team’s most recent meet was Friday, Feb. 1 at the Rice County Courthouse. The two teams from Owatonna faced two of Northfield’s teams. The “Owatonna” team came out of this round with a win against “Northfield White” with a score of 199-169. The “Owatonna White” team fought hard and came out of the trial on top of “Northfield” by one point. Christensen said, “The teams have been working very hard and the results are showing in their trials.” Owatonna’s next meet is Friday, Feb. 8 at the Dodge County Courthouse. “Owatonna White” will go against “Rochester Century” and “Owatonna” will go against “Rochester Lourdes.” After this round of the competition teams will know whether or not they will move onto regionals.

For more information on this year’s mock trial teams, visit a previous article here.