Mock Trial Teaches Practical Legal Procedures

Juan-Pablo Garcia, Staff Writer

Dino Petrocco’s Law and Society class held its 1st mock trial on November 13. According to Petrocco, the point of the project was to help students better understand practical legal procedure.

The mock trial was based on a made-up series of events at Columbus University, Ohio, that lead to the death of a student during a hazing initiation into a co-ed fraternity.

The students in Petrocco’s class re-enacted the case based on the information that a judge, jury, prosecutors, and defendant would receive in a real trial. Students role-played various positions, including witnesses that were prepared by attorneys before the trial.

Sophomore Alicia Babson was 1 of the jurors. “I got to hear all sides of the case and then collaborate with other people to come to a verdict,” she explained.

She enjoyed the deliberation because it helped her see the trial through multiple perspectives. “The mock trial definitely helped me understand what aspects of a real trial would look like,” said Babson

The trial lasted 2 days, during which opening statements were presented and the prosecution’s witnesses were questioned and cross-examined. Sophomore Nina Naffziger was a defense prosecutor who helped defend the accused.

“I liked the mock trial because it helped me see the process that attorneys take to prepare for their cases,” said Naffziger. “I found out that it is not as easy as I thought, it requires a lot of patience and research.”