The Woodrow Wilson High School Mock Trial Team competed against 25 other Dallas ISD teams in the 38th Annual Texas High School Mock Trial Competition held on January 22 at the George Allen Sr. Courts Building, and finished among the top eight teams to advance to the quarterfinal competition to be held on Thursday, January 26. Team members include team captain Brian Arnold, Audrey Blumenstock, Tré Brown, Harrison DuBose, Hope Dobson, Joseph Orozco, Leslye Ruiz, Kala Vahle, East Walkington, Carly Williams, and understudies Natasha Johnson and Gustavo Arenas. The team is coached by Mike Buchanan, Ben DuBose, and Woodrow alumni Monty Watson and Adam Greenfield, and the team sponsor is Woodrow teacher Samuel Mount.
The Dallas Bar Association Mock Trial Committee oversees the statewide high school mock trial program, which was established in 1979. Each year, over 150 schools across the state and approximately 2000 students participate in the competition. The program includes hundreds of volunteer attorneys and judges involved in the judging of each trial of the competition. The mock trials are open to the public and the Dallas Bar Association encourages any teacher, student, or parent who is interested in the law to attend and observe the competitions.
The Mock Trial team will hold tryouts for 2017-2018 team in Fall 2017. Questions? Contact Mr. Mount.
The Woodrow Mock Trial Team is comprised of 10 team members and alternates, who act as prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, witnesses, and timekeepers. In October, students are given the rules of the competition, and a set of facts in the form of six witness statements. These statements (which always have humorous edge to them) leave room for ambiguity so that the two sides of a case are closely balanced. From these materials the students conduct a trial before a judge that lasts slightly less than two hours. The trial has all usual components: opening and closing statements, and direct and cross-examination of witnesses. Each team will compete in at least once on each side (prosecution or defense) during the tournament. Woodrow's team tryouts are held in late September and the tournament is usually held in January or February.
This competition is excellent for any student who wishes to improve his or her ability to analyze facts and present a compelling argument, improve public speaking skills and the ability to think on one's feet, and to improve his or her overall self-confidence. On a typical team, only three of the students compete as lawyers. Six of the other students compete as witnesses and in effect play a role--much like a drama production, except that what the student says is unscripted, and that often makes things very interesting, and gives the students more creative running room. Therefore, this competition is great for students with all types of backgrounds.
Woodrow's Mock Trial Team, formed in 1979, regularly advances to state competition. In 2013, the team competed in the State Texas High School Mock Trial competition. Three of the Woodrow team members received special recognition: Stephanie Arnold and Luke Whitten were both nominated for Best Advocate, and Kimberly Tepera was nominated Best Witness. Woodrow was the only school to receive 2 Best Advocate nominations. In 2011, the team advanced to the state competition, and in 2010, the team advanced to the semifinals of the regional competition. In spring 2008, the team finished first in Dallas area competition and second in the state competition, and in December 2008 DISD selected Woodrow's Mock Trial Team, to attend a Harvard University mock trial leadership and skills workshop in Boston. In 2006, Woodrow Mock Trial Team Member Thomas Simpson received "Best Advocate" at the state competition.
Coaches: Ben Dubose, Monty Watson, Mike Buchannan, and Adam Greenfield
Sponsor: Sam Mount