Clark history in the making at this year’s Mock Trial competition


Melissa O'Gara

Judge Michael O’Gara trains Green team at his home.

Our first article in this year’s Mock Trial series, written by Leslie Chung, can be found here:

For the first time ever, a Clark team, Green team, has made it to the top 8 of the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s 39th Annual Los Angeles County Mock Trial competition, where 100 schools compete. This was after a hard fight by both their prosecution and the defense, who competed Nov. 1 and 7.

Clark’s other two teams, White and Yellow, did not advance. Teams are given a combined score from two observers during each round, and only the top 16-scoring schools of the 100 advance. In other words, it’s entirely possible and usually the case that neither team that faces off in a given trial advances.

The top 8 of the 16, including Clark’s Green team, advance directly to Round 3. The other eight have to compete in the playoffs first, which last year’s Yellow team reached in Clark’s previous-best performance. Green team’s defense competes Nov. 14. If they win, their prosecution team competes Nov 17, and if both win, Green team advances further in the competition.

The team has been practicing diligently.They’ve met three times in the four days before Nov. 14. At this stage of the competition, every member must perform well to progress. “We’re a bit nervous because we’re competing against really good teams,” said senior and prosecution attorney Ani Petrosyan. “But we also feel like we’re ready, because we’ve been practicing a lot and have really worked on our weaknesses.”

Petrosyan gave the example of the witnesses learning to better portray their characters. Senior Anna Parsamyan, who’s defending herself against human trafficking allegations as Cameron Awbrey in the case, has been helping the other Green team witnesses play up the drama. “Mock Trial is really about acting,” Petrosyan said.