Monterey Highlands mock trial team excels in competition

After many weekday morning and Saturday practices since September, Monterey Highlands’ mock trial team competed in the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s November 2014 mock trial competition for three evenings at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. The California Mock Trial Program is a statewide academic competition in which junior and senior high schools compete at the county, state, and national level. Through the program, students acquire a working knowledge of the judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as members of society.

Congratulations to the team, which won a number of awards for its prosecution and defense of the fictional character Evan Shem, a graduate student who was accused of grand larceny. Out of the 44 competing middle school teams, Monterey Highlands earned a spot to compete in the quarterfinals for the fourth year in a row. In addition, Monterey Highlands students eighth grader Tiffany Neth won a coveted outstanding witness award and eight grader Andrew Hom won first place in the competitive journalism competition. Monterey Highlands’ mock trial program is coached by Rudy Fuentes, a teacher at Highlands; along with Gloria Ing, Aaron Kollitz, Brian Cardoza, and Matthew Dwyer, who are attorneys from Southern California Edison Company’s Law Department; Suzanne Fisher, who is a paralegal at Edison; and Dr. Michael Alexander, an expert witness coach.

Top photo:
Monterey Highlands mock trial team advanced to the quarterfinals in the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s competition:
Front row: Jayden Young, Annabella Wu, Maple Duong, Bonnie Wu, Soraya Shafer, Jacqueline Kamei
Second row: Timothy Chuman, Ashley Lui, Kiana Sotelo, Christine Huynh, Tiffany Lai, Vivian Padilla, Kaylie Chuman, Casey Lee
Third row: Tiffany Neth, Sarena Scott, Ian Ordonez, Richard Wu, Garrett Chung, Manuel Holguin, Andrew Hom, Sabrina Sy, Kaleigh Lien
Back row: Rudy Fuentes, Suzanne Fisher, Aaron Kollitz, Gloria Ing

Bottom photo:
Monterey Highlands mock trial team individual winners:
Andrew Hom (1st place award for courtroom journalism); Tiffany Neth (Outstanding Witness Award)

(Posted 2/2/15)