Coach/Advisor: Mr. John Tobias
To contact Mr. Tobias by e-mail, click on the link below:
The Mock Trial Team is a beneficial extracurricular activity for the students of Bordentown Regional High School for the following reasons:
- The Mock Trial competition is an annual nation–wide event and is sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association with over 200 schools competing annually.
- More than 120,000 students have participated in this competition in New Jersey since 1982.
- Preparation begins in early November and the actual competition is held in early Spring.
- The Mock Trial competition will take place at the Mt. Holly Courthouse.
- Mock Trial provides a concrete, interactive learning experience which cannot be obtained solely through textbooks or a typical classroom experience.
- Mock Trial provides students with the opportunity to learn how disputes are resolved through our system of justice.
- Mock Trial helps to develop skills in critical thinking, public speaking, role-playing, communication, reading comprehension, team effort and competition.
- Topics of past Mock Trials tackled relevant and vital issues such as hate crimes, negligence, fraternity hazing, adoption, drunk driving, battered woman syndrome, sexual harassment, an accidental death at a concert, and freedom of the press.
- Many local newspapers cover Mock Trial contests throughout the state enhancing the academic reputations of the participating schools.
Mock Trial was genuinely one of the best clubs I joined throughout my high school career. I learned a lot of valuable lessons such as public speaking, quick thinking, and analytical skills. Putting together a case pushed me to think outside of the box and gather evidence in unique ways. Beyond that though, I had so much fun during every meeting. Everyone in the club comes together to read through the case, and we create so many funny inside jokes. Mock trial meetings are also a very flexible because the advisor Mr. Tobias creates a schedule around the members of the club. Overall mock trial is a great club that incorporates both intellectual skills and good times.
Throughout my four years in high school I was able to act as both a witness and a lawyer on the mock trial team. Not only are you able to make lasting friendships and memories while on the mock trial team, you are also able to develop useful skills which prove useful outside of the courtroom. The different roles on a mock trial team require students to utilize and foster different skills. As a witness you must be able to remember factual information about your character, and recall that information quickly on the stand while acting like said character. As a lawyer, you must not only have a full understanding of the case but also the law itself. Lawyers must be able to deliver opening and closing arguments, direct and cross examine witnesses and object to the opponents line of questioning when appropriate. Both witnesses and lawyers learn how to think on their feet, speak calmly and clearly in public, organize information, and strategize with their teammates. These are skills which prove to be extremely useful in a classroom setting and in life. Participation in mock trial is undoubtedly an experience which would benefit any student.
Mock Trial was an experience that taught me tangible skills which I continue to hold at my disposal. In my trial preparation I learned how to frame an argument and then to direct a witness exactly to my specifications without leading them or disrupting a natural flow of testimony. I learned how to synthesize an entire court case's evidence while emphasizing the foundation of my argument beyond reasonable doubt, and I did all of this while improving my mastery of public speaking. Most of the skills I acquired seamlessly translated to my writing process and my ability to debate in an ethics course. In truth, part of the appeal was knowing that in the courtroom I could be ruthless on cross-examination and act out a theatrical scene worthy of courtroom television. Perhaps the theatre and tangible skill-set explain why it has been hard for me to leave Mock Trial behind. One reason I return to my high school is to judge Mock Trial scrimmages and I think that says a lot of what the program can teach you.