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The Legal Eagles of Veritas Prep’s Mock Trial Teams

Veritas Prep May 15, 2024 -

Veritas Prep Mock Trial team photo

This season, Veritas Preparatory Academy’s Mock Trial Team celebrated a series of remarkable achievements, including securing top placements at the Yale University Bulldog Invitational Tournament, clinching regional and state championships, and delivering a strong performance at the National Competition in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Mock Trial Team, who has enjoyed great success over the years, is comprised of three squads: Atticus, Scout, and Jem (loosely equivalent to varsity, JV, and freshman teams). The teams are led by Head Coach William Klain, a Veritas parent and Director at the law firm Fennemore Craig PC, where he practices in the area of complex corporate and commercial litigation, and fellow coaches: Patrick Keery, Judge Sara Agne, Kathy Hedges, and Theresa Rassas.

Veritas Prep Mock Trial team photo with trophy

Klain explained that mock trial is designed to help students develop their public speaking abilities, critical thinking skills, and understanding of the legal system by having them prepare to try and try both sides of a case (i.e. plaintiff and defense for civil cases and prosecution and defense for criminal cases). “The organizers prepare the assigned case for each competition, including witness statements and exhibits,” said Klain. “For each trial, three student attorneys, three student witnesses, and a timekeeper participate per side. The student attorneys present opening statements, direct examinations of their own witnesses, cross examinations of the other team’s witnesses, and closing arguments. The student witnesses, in turn, are examined and cross-examined during trial.”

In September, Atticus and Scout secured 2nd and 3rd places, respectively, at the Yale University Bulldog Invitational Tournament. Seven members were honored with Outstanding Witness and/or Outstanding Attorney awards.

Veritas Prep Mock Trial candid team photo with trophy

During the Arizona Regional Competition in February, which consists of four trials and a fifth final round in a single day, Atticus clinched 1st place in its region among 24 teams, while Scout claimed 3rd place in its region. Aubrey Klain (Atticus), Brooke Bice (Scout), Salma Ahmed (Scout), and Mila Mestaz (Jem) received “All Region” honors.

As regional champions, Atticus earned an invitation to the Arizona State Competition in March, where it triumphed, facing off against 15 other teams. Aubrey Klain and Georgia Holmes were each awarded with “All State” honors, with Aubrey also receiving the Justice Michael Ryan Award for Outstanding Performer in the final round.

Atticus represented Veritas at the recent National Competition, held in Wilmington, Delaware. The competition spanned two days with four trials, where they competed against 47 other state champions. Although they did not secure a top position, it was a strong finish to an impressive season where Atticus boasted a 15-3 record, Scout maintained a 6-1 record, and Jem held a 2-2 record.

Achievements include securing victories at Regionals in 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024. Additionally, they clinched the Arizona state championship in 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2024, and claimed 2nd and 3rd places at the State Competition in 2023. In 2022, they secured 3rd place at the National Competition. Klain said it’s worth noting that the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID, making Veritas the champions in four of the last five Arizona state championships.

Veritas Prep Mock Trial team photo

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