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Frisco ISD’s Hidden Law Powerhouse

CTE Mock Trial Team Advances to State

Rohit Bolla

Rohit Bolla

Rohit Bolla, Reporter

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This Friday, the secret FISD CTE Mock Trial team travels to downtown Dallas to compete in a fight of justice to prove their ultimate rule in the kingdom that is the National High School Mock Trial Association.

Everyone knows about DECA and HOSA, but the Frisco ISD’s official mock trial team is a hidden gem in the ornate crown of extracurriculars that the district has to offer.

Mock trial is exactly as the name sounds: a copy of a real trial in a high school competitive setting. Every October, teams around the country are each given a thirty page document containing the case that will be represented in the courtroom. This year’s case for all Texas teams was Colfax Barkley vs Nixon Agnew, a civil case concerning who shot a drone that fell and killed Barkely’s pet dog.  

Each team is comprised of ten people, three to four attorneys and six to seven witnesses. Each person playing a witness receives a three page fact statement containing vital details about the witness that are relevant to the case. The three attorneys then prepare to either defend the accused or prosecute a witness. Teams spend around three months per case preparing for the district competition January 30 and if they advance, state March 4. Teams work on perfecting both sides of the case because in competition, teams are drawn randomly for sides.  

Composed of students from five different high schools in the district, including sophomore Rohit Bolla and junior Lucette Anderson, the CTE mock trial team consistently stands on-par with state-competing teams such as Skyline High School and Prestonwood Christian Academy. However this year, the mock trial team made district history by not only advancing to the second round of districts, the CTE mock trial team, for the first time, advanced to the Texas State Mock Trial competition in Dallas on the fourth of March.

“I am so proud of [them].” Attorney help Ernest Leonard said. “They have worked incredibly hard for this moment and knowing we get to continue this to state is just the cherry on top.”

Meeting every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 since September, hundreds of hours, tears and nerves have gone into making the team as prepared as it could be.

“We’ve sometimes spent ten consecutive hours together working and sometimes that proximity makes us fight a little,” sophomore Rohit Bolla said. “But it also brings us closer together so when we get to the moment at the state competition where we want to give up, we know how to motivate and make our teammates the best they can be.”

In competition, scoring for each team every round depends on the amount of sustained objections, the portrayal of witnesses and the opening as well as closing arguments given by attorneys. A panel of real attorneys along with a real judge sit in the jury box and write down their score for certain aspects of the trial.

“It’s a subjective system but it works,” law teacher Ben Ewald said.

The top twelve teams with the highest scores make it to districts II and then from there, the top three teams advance to state.

“I can’t even express the pride I have for this family,” junior Lucette Anderson said. “The work ethic and the constant push is unparalleled with any organization.”

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Frisco ISD’s Hidden Law Powerhouse