With a resounding three-time merit win and two-time win on trial performance, Concord Academy’s Mock Trial team wrapped up the 2023-2024 season, celebrating a culmination of hard work and commitment. This year, the team was tasked with the criminal case Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Maiyer Wahl on the charges of larceny, burglary, and filing a false police report. The students assumed roles as attorneys and witnesses, collaborating to present a compelling case that would ultimately decide the verdict.

Leading up to the trial dates, the team adopted an extensive preparation structure to gain a thorough understanding of the case. Starting in November, the team met regularly on Tuesday mornings and Sunday evenings. Once the roles of attorneys and witnesses were assigned, student attorneys began drafting examinations as well as opening and closing statements, paying particular attention to language and clarity to avoid objections from the opposing counsel. The preparation was overseen by the club’s faculty advisor, Benny Abraham, along with the guidance of volunteer attorney coach Jordan Blocher and CA parent Mark Krum P’26. Members also met over Thanksgiving and Winter breaks and held scrimmages once school was back in session, where they took on their roles and ran the whole case. With a structured practice routine, the team could devote attention to each aspect of the case and build effective arguments.

This year’s trials took place at the Concord District Court—a shift from last year’s location that prompted local high schools to create makeshift courtrooms due to the pandemic. Representing the prosecution once and the defendant twice, CA’s Mock Trial team’s argument centered around specific themes to convey a story with the corroboration of witness testimonies. For each trial, the team called on two lay witnesses and an expert witness, who were involved with the factual narrative aspects of the case and who each possessed expertise in a specific field respectively. Attorneys were responsible for working with the witnesses and responding to objections in real-time, serving as an opportunity to hone analytical, listening, and speaking skills. Members gained valuable insight into the workings of a trial and general court procedure, carrying this knowledge into the new season.

Reflecting on this season’s success, Grace Kalere ’23, head of the Mock Trial team, commented, “I look forward to returning members who now have experience under their belt being able to advance out of the region and keep on making their way through the tournament, well past January. The team has come so far…[and] I think new members should join because the progress made has been nothing short of remarkable, rendering a compelling case for participation in our team.”

Moving forward, the team will continue to refine their skills through objections workshops and relevant practices. With the new Mock Trial season approaching soon, the team also hopes to gauge more interest among new students by hosting introductory meetings to provide a solid foundation. Additionally, they hope to participate in the Angela R. Mathew High School Seminar Program hosted by Harvard University. Congratulations to the Mock Trial team for a successful season, and be on the lookout for more opportunities to get involved soon!