High School Mock Trial championship round today

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THE championship round of the 22nd CNMI High School Mock Trial will be held today, Friday, at the federal courthouse.

Six high school teams are competing and one of team will take home the perpetual grand gavel and represent the CNMI at the national competition in Evansville, Indiana in May.

The CNMI competitors are eight-time winner Mount Carmel School, Saipan International School, Tinian High School, Grace Christian Academy, Kagman High School, and the defending champion, Marianas High School.

This year’s fictitious case — “Gabriel Johnson Torres vs. Department of Public Safety” — involved an excessive force claim by a police officer against a minor.

The Saipan International School Mock Trial team members with their teacher and attorney coaches.

First-time participant Margarita Lavrenta, a sophomore at Saipan International School, said she joined the competition because it was interesting.

Lavrenta, who plays the role of a witness, said the practice sessions were hard. “There are so many new words, so much new information to learn.”

She added, “I joined a bit late, so I’ve been practicing for two months now — some of the students on my team have been practicing longer.”

She said it was a fun experience, and she wants to be a lawyer someday.

The Tinian High School Mock Trial team with their coaches: attorneys Kimberlyn King-Hinds and Chester Hinds.  Photos by Bryan Manabat

Mock trial coordinator Gretchen Smith welcomed the students and their lawyer coaches at a general assembly on Thursday at the Kristo Rai Church Social Hall.

Smith told the students: “You are expected to exhibit good sportsmanship, show respect for everyone, and avoid tactics that violate the rules.”

The event, she added, is educational and for fun.

The awards ceremony today, Friday, will be held at 3 p.m.

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