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Prep Mock Trial Team Takes 4th at Nationals
Auden Salazar

The 2023 mock trial season was among the best in Panther history. Prep’s two teams competed in 25 trials and won 80% of them. After six weeks of intensive practice, the varsity team competed in the Mock Trial Championship, in Little Rock, Arkansas, placing fourth out of 47 teams. Senior Andy Roedel received a coveted Best Witness award for his portrayal of a retired history teacher. Coaches Jennifer Freeman, Andy McCarthy, Andy Hendricks ’83, Taylor Larson ’07 and past parent Joe Genster worked with the team in Little Rock. Other Seattle Prep community members who assisted with the season include past parent Peter Vial, Tara O’Hanlon ’05, Nick Crown ’07, Tierney Vial ’11, Anna Ferron ’16, Elizabeth Shields ’16, Michelle Nguyen ’20, current parent Dan Johnson, Hudson Patterson ’18 and Prep drama program head Adam Othman.  

I Object!

THIS YEAR’S NATIONAL MOCK TRIAL CASE drew heavily on Arkansas history. In the hypothetical scenario, one Little Rock school board member fatally shot a rival board member in the hallway outside a school board meeting room. The shooter was prosecuted for murder but claimed self-defense because the victim was carrying a knife and may have been about to draw it. The authors wove in references to the 1957 Little Rock Nine school desegregation controversy, some prominent duels in Arkansas history and the two WWII Japanese internment camps located in Arkansas. President Bill Clinton also received a mention. The case forced students to grapple with some challenging criminal law issues. To rebut the first-degree murder charge, the defendant contended that use of force was justified, but the State countered with evidence that the defendant had provoked the victim and therefore used deadly force unlawfully. 

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Lisa Fernandez, Director of Communications & Marketing