De Smet Jesuit’s Mock Trial Team competed in the Show Me Mock Trial Tournament, its first competition of the season, on October 4, 5, and 6 at Saint Louis University’s School of Law.
With a 2-2 record, the Spartans placed fourth out of eight teams. “Our performance was incredibly strong,” said Head Coach Tom Sothers. “We earned decisive victories in two trials and lost the other two by the closest margin possible.” One of those losses came against defending state champions, Cor Jesu Academy. Mr. Sothers is assisted by volunteer coaches Stephen Ahlheim ’86, Judge Henry Autrey ’71, and Judge Chris McGraugh ’79.
Three seniors received tournament awards. Star Attorney awards went to Evan Jager, who placed third overall among attorneys, and Jackson Daesch, who placed fifth overall for attorneys. Jack Burton earned a Star Witness award.
Evan Jager said the award was “validation that hard work pays off.” He enjoys the challenge of preparing for trial as an attorney. “It takes a lot of time reading over the case and figuring out how to bring out the facts to help your side win. It’s a battle of brains and logic as well as preparation.”
Jack Burton appreciates the opportunity mock trial offers to experience what it is like working as an attorney. “It’s challenging because of the many different ways you can interpret a case,” he said, adding, “being recognized for good work makes me motivated to do even better work.”
The Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition is supported by the Saint Louis Bar Foundation and the Missouri Lawyer Trust Account Foundation. The program offers students the opportunity to experience real courtroom trials and follow the same rules and procedures, so they learn first-hand how the legal system works and what role judges, lawyers, juries, and witnesses play in the court system.
The competition season runs through March 2020, and the Spartans began preparing this year’s case in August.