Seattle Prep takes 6th at 2013 Nationals
Welcome to the information page for Seattle Prep's mock trial program -- 2012-13 School Year
Mock Trial is both an academic Window class and a competitive interscholastic activity. It is open to all classes. Students receive a CR ("credit") grade on their transcript.
In recent years, Seattle Prep has competed at the elite level in state and national competitions. Seattle Prep won Washington's state championship in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, and 2003. Our Nationals finishes include 6th in Indianapolis (2013), 6th in Albuquerque (2012), 10th in Phoenis (2011), 5th in Philadelphia (2010), 3rd in Atlanta (2009), 8th in Delaware (2008), and 6th in New Orleans (2003). (See below for articles on 2012 State and National competitions.)
The mock trial course teaches the fundamentals of evidence and trial procedure and prepares students to participate in the YMCA Youth and Government mock trial program. Students assume lawyer or witness roles and prepare the State case to go up against other schools in a realistic trial scenario. The District competition is at the end of February; the State competition is at the end of March.
Space is limited. Admission to the course and the mock trial team is by tryout. Students interested in the program should sign up for Mock Trial during registration and Window signup. Tryouts will take place during the first few weeks of school. There will be three teams: a varsity, a JV, and a team that will include newcomers to the program. Students who do not make a team will be switched into study hall or may opt for another activity if space is available.
Mock trial is an intense program. It includes weekly after-school practices downtown from October through March.
For more information and a six minute video clip of a 2008 King County competition, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-daU0vgk3CY .
Go to the YMCA Youth and Government page for more information about the Mock Trial and Youth Legislature programs in Washington State. Click here for more information about mock trial programs nationally.
Please contact Andy McCarthy for complete program information at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Click here for a press release on our 2013 State win. http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/?fa=newsinfo.internetdetail&newsid=2360
Seattle Prep Mock Trial Places in Top Ten at Nationals for the Fifth Straight Year
May 6, 2012, Albuquerque --
Missing the National Finals by the width of a cactus spine, Seattle Prep placed sixth overall, third in total points, at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque this weekend. It was Prep’s fifth Top Ten finish in a row, its sixth in the past ten years. Seattle Prep won its first three trials, but lost its fourth 2-1 to Georgia, which advanced to the finals.
Of the 46 state champion teams at the competition over the first weekend in May, Seattle Prep and Georgia were among the six still undefeated after three trials. With its close victory over Seattle Prep, Georgia moved on to the championship, where it lost to New Mexico.
Prep senior Zachary Dammel earned his second Nationals Outstanding Witness award for his portrayals of a contract killer and a Congressman.
The case, based on a novel by New Mexico author Tony Hillerman, involved a retired U.S. intelligence operative turned hit man who testified for the government under a plea deal. The defendant, a former New Mexican Congressman, was accused of conspiracy to commit murder. He claimed that his cash payments to the hit man were for blackmail, not a down payment on a murder-for-hire.
From the moment the case came out on April 1, students from around the country honed their rhetorical and acting skills as they studied the federal laws of conspiracy and murder-for-hire, the complexities of legislative immunity and plea bargains, and the ways natural gas companies can underreport drilling royalties due the Indian tribes.
Host state New Mexico entered two schools at the event to even out the number of teams. In an unusual twist, it was Albuquerque Academy, New Mexico’s second-place team at the state championship, that won the National title. New Mexico’s state champions finished seventh.
In the trial rounds, Seattle Prep beat Kansas 3-0, beat New Hampshire (Phillips Exeter) 3-0; beat Louisiana 2-1 (Jesuit New Orleans), and lost the fourth round to Georgia 1-2. Those who enjoy the esoterica of mock trial scoring will appreciate the following: in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 Prep has been undefeated after three rounds and has lost 1-2 in the fourth round to a team that advanced to the championship.
For the Seattle Prep students, other highlights of the intense week in Albuquerque included scrimmages against Idaho, Minnesota, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Since 2000, when Seattle’s Franklin High School won the championship under teacher-coach Rick Nagel and attorney-coach Charlie Williams, only one high school in the country – John Adams High School in South Bend, Indiana – has more Top Ten finishes than Seattle Prep. Seattle Prep now has six Top Ten trophies. John Adams has ten since 2000 and seven in a row, including two national championships. (The Indiana school’s spectacular streak ended in Albuquerque, where John Adams finished 11th.) Seattle Prep’s highest finish was third in Atlanta in 2009. Over 3000 high schools around the country have mock trial programs.
Seattle Prep benefitted from the support of Washington State’s generous mock trial community as it advanced toward the Albuquerque competition. Teams from the King’s School and Archbishop Murphy High School worked up the case and scrimmaged, as did four members of the Washington Bar. King County Superior Court Judge William Downing presided over a practice round, and attorney Jeff Robinson coached the students on cross-examination techniques.
Prep’s mock trial program has 45 students, nine of whom comprised the Nationals traveling team. Seniors Alexandra Dullea and Christina Payne anchored the prosecution and defense lawyer trios. Seniors Nicole Zunick and Nora Genster also defended the Congressman; junior Molly Miller delivered the opening statement for the government. In a first for Seattle Prep, attorney Christina Payne “doubled” as a prosecutor during trials when she was not making closing argument for the defense. Doubling as witnesses in all rounds were Zach Dammel, Jack Floyd, and the all-purpose expert, Chase Robinett. Sophomore Casey Schmidt served as the official timekeeper. Nora, Nicole, and Zach competed at Nationals as sophomores, juniors, and seniors, finishing fifth, tenth, and sixth in those three years.
Among the many adults who supported the team in Albuquerque were teacher-coaches Andy McCarthy, Jen Freeman, and Renee Willette. Wearing three hats as attorney-coach-parents were Joe Genster and Cathryn Dammel. Prep alums Nick Crown (’07) and Taylor Larson(’07), Erica Strathern (’08), and John Bailey (’04) also spent hours coaching, listening, and running diabolical cross-examinations to get the team ready. Alums Russell Pharr (’07) and Alex Crown (’09) helped the team in Seattle and made the trip in spirit. School President Kent Hickey attended, along with about two dozen parents, grandparents, and underclass students. Special thanks go to Erica Strathern, who not only coached but coordinated all the travel and meal arrangements for the group.
For further information contact Andy McCarthy email@example.com, or Jen Russell firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the program statewide, see http://youthandgovernment.org/mock_trial0.aspx; for information about the national high school mock trial, see http://www.nationalmocktrial.org/index.cfm. -- End --
Seattle Prep Mock Trial Takes First Place at State
March 25, 2012, Olympia --
In an epic battle and by a split decision, Seattle Prep’s varsity mock trial team defeated Franklin High School in the final round to win theWashington State high school mock trial championship at the Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia on March 25, 2012. Prep won four of the raters’ ballots; Franklin won two. Susan Owens, a justice on the Washington Supreme Court, presided over the final round.
Twenty-two teams had moved on from the various District competitions to make it to State.
Prep’s JV won two of their four trials and placed eighth overall. The tournament featured another “civil war” between Prep’s varsity and Prep’s JV in the fourth round, with a berth in the State finals on the line. Prep’s varsity defense prevailed in what many observers called one of the best trials they had seen in years.
The 2012 State case, crafted by King County Superior Court Judge William Downing, involved a deceased bicyclist whose family was seeking to recover on her life insurance policy. With compelling characters, many allusions to the poetry of Tennyson, a complex set of facts, and a quagmire of insurance policy language at the center of the legal issues, Judge Downing provided hundreds of students at schools around the State the opportunity to learn about the law and the justice system as they worked on the problem for the past six months.
Many Prep students were singled out for recognition at the awards banquet before the final. Earning best witness awards from the JV were Campion Fellin, Matt Jeakle, Andrew Hermann, and Mitch Fanning; best witnesses from the varsity were Zach Dammel, Jack Floyd, Nina Leff, Chase Robinett, Casey Schmidt, and Michael Goodwin. JV lawyers Max Bertellotti, Rachel Chacon, and David Mallick received awards, as did varsity lawyers Alexandra Dullea, Nora Genster, Christina Payne, and Nicole Zunick. Alexandra Dullea also earned the best attorney in the championship trial.
Prep will represent Washington State at Nationals in Albuquerque during the first week in May. The Nationals case comes out April 1, day one of an intense five weeks that lie ahead.
This year’s State championship is Seattle Prep’s sixth in a row, the eighth in ten years.
The program benefits from strong support from parent volunteers and recent alumni – they use their skills as attorneys, drama coaches, mock trial devotees, and chefs extraordinaire to bring out the best in the 45 students enrolled in the program. The “official” coaches are Andy McCarthy, Renee Willette, Jeanne Marie Clavere, Elijah Forde, Taylor Larson, and Jen Freeman.
YMCA Youth and Government sponsors mock trial in Washington; Clark County Judge Robert Lewis is the program chair. For more information, please contact http://www.seattleymca.org/Locations/YouthAndGovernment/Pages/Home.aspx ,email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zoe and Arthur in trial.
Nick gets ready to deliver his closing.