Mock trial club competes at regionals

Dailey Jogan '24 , Page Editor

SUPER SNAPSHOT Mock trial team number one poses for a group picture at their competition. This team placed second in Wayne County at the Michigan Center for Civic Education, putting them in contention for state qualifying. (Craig Wininger)

Court is in session for the Grosse Pointe South Mock Trial team. Having spent months preparing their roles, the team took to the stand on Feb. 18 at their regional competition.

With so many clubs offered at South, the Mock Trial team only has 13 members, many of which have stuck with it since freshman year. Team captain many years in the running, Tadhg Sahutske ’23, wrapped up her final year competing as a lawyer for her team.

“I’ve always been interested in law-related stuff,” Sahutske said. “I really love legal dramas, but I really got into Mock Trial because I broke my foot freshman year and I couldn’t row anymore. I had to find something to occupy me in the winter.”

Gaining experience and expertise in and out of the courtroom, Sahutske has prepared case after case with her team with hopes of going to the state competition.

“Judges always say afterward that we have better legal knowledge than a lot of real lawyers,” Sahutske said. “Public speaking for me has been a huge thing. I was a nervous wreck before the Mock Trial.”

Even if participating in the club as a lawyer, attorney or witness is not what strikes interest, there are more opportunities in Mock Trial for students to participate.

“We want more people– we need more people,” Sahutske said. “As long as you let us know what you feel comfortable doing, we can get you somewhere that is good for you. There’s opportunities for courtroom artistry and courtroom journalism.”

With eyes set on becoming a lawyer, Jack Slawson ’24, has continued his place on the team, taking a more intense role in the 2022/2023 season.

“This was my second year on the team,” Slawson said. “I was a witness last year and an attorney this season.”

By taking the new role, Slawson was able to further his learning about the legal process. After months of preparation, the team was able to compete and put their practice to work.

“(The attorneys) are in charge of directly questioning the witnesses in order to set up a narrative for both prosecution and defense, as well as cross examining the opponent teams with witnesses and objecting to any statements that we feel are not legal,” Slawson said.

Competing with the South Mock Trial team has opened new doors to the proceedings of court for Slawson, who said the skills learned on the team extend beyond legal knowledge.

“I’ve gained the skills to think on my feet, as well as how to react to someone’s statements and proper etiquette in a courtroom,” Slawson said.

As this year’s season comes to an end the South team is looking for new members for next school year. If any student is interested, they should try it out at any meeting of the year or talk to anyone in the club.

“If you want to try it out but aren’t really sure, go to a meeting,” Sahutske said. “Show up at one (meeting) pretty much anytime in the year, and we can try to get you in at some role.