15 May Day Two at Nationals 2016: Dos Pueblos Mock Trial
The National Mock Trial competition has wrapped with a second day of competition. Our California champions from Dos Pueblos battled competitors from Alabama and New Jersey and were honored with an award at the final gala ceremony.
In round three, Dos Pueblos gave their strongest performance of the week against Spain Park High School, repeat state champions and Empire New York competitors from Alabama. The California team took the defense in round three. On the second day of competition, counsel table was working as a team and junior Alex Edgar received the top attorney award in the round. Jenny Rothman stole the show as French-speaking ranch hand Gabby Eschevaria. Accused of poisoning the sheep on behalf of her boss, Ms. Eschevaria denied any involvement. “Mr. B wouldn’t do something like that,” she insisted.
Following the round, our expert correspondent, Justin Bernstein, recommended the California team make more strategic objections. “Avoid technical, unrealistic objections –don’t object invention of fact! If you listen to the witness on cross and make solid foundation and character objections you can beat any team here,” he advised the team.
In the fourth round, Dos Pueblos faced Bergen Catholic High School, the New Jersey state champions. The California champions competed on plaintiff and took home an attorney award for Cindy Diaz. Ms. Diaz was recently filmed for the upcoming Golden State video series, My Mock Trial Story. Watch for her telling of her most memorable mock trial moment in coming months. The round four witness award went to virologist and CSI, Samantha Dacy, played by Jenny Jang. Ms. Jang attacked the role authoritatively. She was ready to turn any cross question into a liability for the attorney challenging her.
Following round four, the team attended the evening gala and awards ceremony. Jenny Rothman of Dos Pueblos was honored for a second time during the weekend, as one of the top ten witnesses in the nation. Her portrayal of plaintiff Illan Zabala was memorable. Ms. Zabala testified, at times tearfully, that she came from her home country, Spain, to the United States for opportunity. In her Basque community in Spain, women weren’t allowed to do the same work as the men. She wanted to be a shepherd, following in the family tradition, so she immigrated to Idaho for her opportunity. Ms. Zabala told the story of how a conflict with a powerful rancher robbed her of that dream and left the majority of her flock dead. Ms. Rothman’s portrayal of the role was heightened by a spot-on French accent and an emotional connection with the jury.
The 2016 national title was awarded to Iowa, whom Dos Pueblos faced in round one. The California team was the only team to take a ballot from the Iowa champions through five otherwise undefeated rounds of competition. This win returns the title to Iowa ten years after their last national win.
Congratulations to the new national champion and to our California champions for representing the Golden State in Boise.