2016 Mock Trial Season Begins with a Bang!

September 14, 2016

“Blake M. Brando on or about October 27, 2015, in the County of Wagon Wheel and State of Nebraska, …….did purposely and with deliberate and premeditated malice, shoot and kill Louise Choanike.”  So begins the statement that introduces the 2016 Nebraska Mock Trial competition. 

Sponsored by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, the Mock Trial competition covers 12 regions across the state.  Each year the Case Committee, a group of attorneys who volunteer their time, writes an original case for competition.  Some 400 lawyers work across the state as regional coordinators, attorney coaches and competition judges.  Lexington is one of more than 80 schools across the state involving nearly 1,000 students who participate annually.  Besides the obvious knowledge about the legal and judicial systems, students learn and practice speaking, reading, writing and analytical skills as they compete with other teams in their region. 

This year the case involves a murder on a stage in Nebraska where a production of Burr has been produced.  One of the writers is killed by a gunshot wound, and her co-writer Blake M. Brando has fired the fatal shot.  Was it an accident?  Did Brando load a live bullet in place of the blank, or was it planted by the stage manager?  These and many other questions will be asked and debated by the members of the Mock Trial teams.  Each team has six active members and up to two alternates.  Three members act as attorneys and three as witnesses.  After six weeks of preparation and rehearsal, the season begins around the end of October.  Lexington travels to North Platte where we meet North Platte High School and Ogallala High School teams at the Lincoln County Courthouse.

Auditions were held September 8, and three teams are preparing for competition.  The first team is comprised of Adrian Gomez, Camille Anderson, Nia Martinez, Rebecca Riek, Darlene Gomez and Mario Crispin.  The second team is comprised of Christopher Gomez, Briseyda Garcia, Rosy Galvan, Danielle Rivera, Erick Estrada and Stephanie Vielmas.  The third team is not yet set but these students are vying for position:  Amy Suarez, Isis Ramirez, Hillary Carrillo, Yajaira Ramirez, Mariani del Tena, Evelin Vasquez, Karina Mendoza, Martin Ruiz, Elizabeth Jaramillo, and Martin Ruiz. 

Teacher sponsors are Kevin McConnell and Melanie Chesley.  This year a 2008 Lexington High School graduate, Rosangela Godinez, will serve as attorney-coach along with Brian Copley of Heldt and McKeone Law Office.