Mock Trial completes first scrimmage with new members


Amita Mahajan

On Oct. 31, a team of 16 MVHS students drove to Tracey High School in San Joaquin county for their first scrimmage of the year. This was the first time the team scrimmaged outside the Santa Clara Valley District, and over half of its members were new.

MV Mock Trial debated the case People v. Hayes, which was centered around a second-degree murder trial. Despite the team’s lack of experience, they gained a plethora of feedback and memories.

Mock Trial Infographic

Limited time for preparation

“It was a very good learning experience, especially going against a team that was much more experienced than us,” said junior Adarsh Parthasarathy, co-president of Mock Trial. “I think the new people gained a lot of knowledge.”

The team had limited time to prepare as the scrimmage was several months earlier than the normal trial season. Veteran members struggled to teach new members practice-based skills such as objections, and had a difficult time gathering all of the attorneys and witnesses together to run through the entire trial.

“[Our Mock Trial coaches] helped a lot, but I feel like most of our help came from last minute preparation from other group members,” said junior Shreyas Shastri, a prosecution attorney during the trial.

Shastri spent the majority of his time practicing against walls, a common public speaking trick. However, he faced problems during the actual trial.

“As an individual, I feel like I could have done a lot better since I did end up stammering a lot,” Shastri said. “I wish I talked to actual people instead of walls because it’s different to talk to walls than to talk to people.”

Adrenaline rush

Despite these setbacks during preparation, members spoke enthusiastically about their experiences from the trial. Senior and co-president Ajay Merchia recounted his time as a witness in the form of a track team coach. The prosecuting lawyer pointed out that he had not received immediate medical treatment, trying to imply that he had not needed it. However, Merchia successfully stopped the prosecuting lawyer by commenting that he was “hyped up on adrenaline,” a fact which the lawyer had missed.

Experiences like these were not uncommon at the trial. At one point, members of the team drew on a sleeping teammate’s face after the trial. Shastri described the team’s group chats, with a wide range of topics from cooking in college to scientology.

Freshman Palak Jain, the defendant during the trial, summed up the trial. “The entire team has been really nice and helpful and they’re all really crazy so you fit right in.”