Patriots in Court: AHS Mock Trial Team


Mason Longhurst, Associate Editor

This year, a group of students from both campuses of American Heritage presented a legal case at the Scott Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City. This group of students called the Mock Trial team successfully defended and prosecuted the same case, claiming victory on both sides of the courtroom. 

In each Mock Trial competition, judges rule in favor of one side to decide the case. Then, the judges look at each member of the teams and how they performed individually and award points based on performance. 

This was the Mock Trial team’s first year of competition, and they performed remarkably well. The team won their first case (and barely lost the competition), an extremely close battle against American Fork High School, who made it to the semi-finals last year. Then, arguing the opposite side of the case, the team beat outright Davis High School. The team then competed against Skyline and Timp View, receiving the verdict both times and barely missing out on winning points. 

Senior Ryan Mitchell, an award-winning attorney on the team, said, “I’ve really enjoyed doing Mock Trial. I feel that it’s given us a lot of courtroom experience, and I’ve definitely been able to learn more about [courtroom] procedure and how we can use evidence for either side of the argument. We’ve been able to learn a lot about our different witness parts, and it’s been cool to be able to ask attorney-like questions and be able to make objections in the courtroom”.

Senior Zion Ong, another recognized attorney on the team, stated, “I have loved Mock Trial a lot this year, especially after competing. I was definitely not planning on being a trial lawyer, but I am so glad I did Mock Trial because it has taught me important skills such as thinking on my feet, how to question someone, public speaking skills, and forming a persuasive argument. I would recommend Mock Trial for anyone that wants to develop those skills and/or if they want to portray a witness. My favorite part about being on the Mock Trial team is grilling witnesses or watching witnesses get grilled on cross-examination because it is very funny sometimes.”

The Mock Trial season finished in February, and the team was able to look back on a very successful first season. If you are interested in law practice or feel that you would enjoy participating in a trial, look forward to next year’s team.