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Jamestown High School added yet another championship to its long list of other notable victories this year. The Jamestown High School Mock Trial Team won the Chautauqua County Championships with a record 5-1 victories this spring to capture the Robert H. Jackson Cup. At a regional competition in Buffalo, the team again proved themselves with a record of 1-1 against teams from Erie and Genesee counties. The team was honored at a recent Bar Association lunch at the Robert H. Jackson Center.
Jamestown’s Mock Trial coach James Krause explained, “This program is an excellent opportunity for the students to be positively exposed to a major institution in our society, the criminal justice system. The students learn aspects of the legal culture; they are challenged to perform under pressure, and they really learn a lot about themselves as leaders. Mock Trial is just a great learning experience for the students.”
Attorney coach Marilyn Fiore-Lehman added, “We see timid, soft spoken children come to us as freshmen and they leave as well spoken, articulate young adults as seniors. It’s really a great feeling to work with these students.”
Mock Trial is a competition that requires a tremendous amount of dedication from students and coaches to prepare, analyze and attack a case the State Bar Association has generated. All the schools in the state receive the same case and students have to be prepared to present the case from both the prosecution’s perspective and the defense’s perspective.
“It’s definitely a challenge to completely scrap the case you have set up and then to turn around and try and argue against the points you yourself were passionately putting forward,” noted JHS senior attorney, Jacob Sandstrom.
“You really learn to see things from different points of view,” added fellow JHS senior Kim Crasti.
Jenna Valone, a senior who played numerous roles as a witness on both the defense and prosecution explained, “Mock Trial taught us to be both thorough in preparation and to stay in control of our emotions. Our team was able to project grace under pressure.” The team is graduating five senior members, so a new group of students are stepping in to pick up the torch and run with it.”