The future lawyers and litigators of Los Gatos received their first taste of a career in law on Sept. 22. The case for the Santa Clara County State High School Mock Trial Competition was released and distributed to all nine schools entered in the program. Mock trial, a simulated criminal court trial in which students take on the roles of both witnesses and attorneys, is a popular club on LG’s campus, sporting about 35 members for this upcoming season.
This year’s case has mock trial participants extremely excited and eager to start the six month journey to complete mastery of the fictional case, at which point they present their arguments in front of a real judge of Santa Clara County. Students from around Santa Clara were overjoyed to discover that 2015 would be the year of a murder trial, a trial “more interesting than last year’s”, according to Los Gatos Mock Trial co-captain, Hayden Manseau. Manseau, a member of the team for the past three years, recalled art theft case of the 2014-2015 season that left participants hungry for a more high-profile case. She and others on the LG team can’t wait to dive into the 2015-2016 case of People v. Hayes.
The story involves several hot topics of 2015 such as police brutality and fraternity and sorority hazing of underclassmen. The victim in the fictional trial is Lee Valdez, a security guard working for Central California University. He was killed by Jamie Hayes, a freshman track star, who hit Valdez over the head with a baseball bat while the officer and Casey Barns, friend of Jamie, were fighting. The prosecution teams will argue for Jamie’s conviction, while the defense will argue that Jamie only hit the officer to save Casey’s life.
Students at Los Gatos are ready to take the case head on. With a successful past, making it all the way to the quarter-finals last year with all new members, the team is extremely happy and eager to be working with each other again and to welcome newcomers. Senior Emma Shahabi is ‘looking forward to being an attorney again and to work with other experienced senior attorneys.” A mock trial veteran, Shahabi also stated, “I love how diverse the team is. We have kids from all different groups on campus, and we all bond so much throughout the year.” The team is certainly close with one another and can’t wait to start formulating arguments, making objections, and presenting the best case they can.