Last month, the debate team took home the Mock Trials Cup after an intense weekend competition with eleven other schools from around BC. The mock trial is organized every year by Glenlyon Norfolk debate coach John Baty – in conjunction with the Victoria and Provincial Bar associations – and takes place in courtrooms at the Victoria Law Courts, where students’ mock trial performances are adjudicated by lawyers and court judges.
Competing schools face off as Crown and defence teams, with two students from each school acting as lawyers and other students playing witnesses. The SMUS team, which included Eric Proetzer, Ross Prager, Kristijan Gjorjgevik, Matthew Warner, Charles Leitz, Katrina Gong, Harmon Moon and Chris Groot, won the morning rounds both in points and by verdicts from the judges. In the semi-finals as Crown against PCS, the team again won on points, but did not manage a guilty verdict. Advancing to the finals against GNS, as Crown again, SMUS won on total points.
“The kids were clearly acting in ‘lawyer mode,’ rather than debate mode,” says SMUS debate coach Mr. Sean Hayden. “Our closer, for instance, meticulously and brilliantly addressed each point of law, as a lawyer should.”
According to Mr. Hayden, an intense but friendly rivalry has grown between our school and GNS, who beat our team in the finals at last year’s mock trials. “We won both the Shawnigan Cup (Bruce-Lockhart) and the Mock Trials Cup this year,” he says, “with John Baty’s GNS team as the closest competition.”