The Pius X mock trial Team One competed against York in Districts at the Lancaster County courthouse on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
This was the first time a Pius X team has advanced to Districts since 2016.
The team consisted of seniors Anna Schmit, Christopher Sullivan-Diaz, Dahrin Hernandez and Cathy Shasserre and juniors Keagan Callahan and Sophi Throener-Rodriguez.
Each team contained three attorneys and three witnesses. The case held in the mock trials this season was titled “Kelly Panenka vs. Rabona Foods.” It was a made-up, civil, breach of contract case in which Kelly Panenka signed an endorsement contract with Rabona Foods and Rabona Foods terminated the contract.
The mock trial was held in an actual courtroom with a judge and jury, who were adults experienced with law and court procedure.
Pius X represented the plaintiff, Kelly Panenka.
Before the case started, the team had high hopes to perform the best they could.
“I expect all of us to do our best and to try for State,” Schmit said.
The teams first started by introducing themselves, dispersing their rosters and performing pretrial.
Hernandez had the opening argument, and Sullivan-Diaz called the first witness, Schmit, to the stand. Each witness was sworn in by the judge.
Throughout the trial, exhibits were published and objections were both sustained and overruled.
The second witness called up was Shasserre; Callahan performed her direct cross. Along with a direct examination, each witness was cross examined by the opposing counsel.
The plaintiff’s last witness was Throener-Rodriguez, who was directed by Hernandez.
Next was the plaintiff’s turn to call their witnesses to the stand.
Hernandez cross examined their first witness; then Sullivan-Diaz crossed the second and Callahan crossed their third witness.
Each team had five minutes to prepare for their closing arguments. Callahan performed the closing argument and a rebuttal.
After both sides concluded their closings, the judges deliberated. While their scores were verified, the judges gave feedback to both teams.
York advanced to the State tournament, but the Pius X team was happy with their success.
“I hope everyone sees how well we did and how hard we tried,” Sullivan-Diaz said.
The seniors on the team competed for the last time at Districts and reflected on how mock trial has impacted them.
“Mock trial has improved my confidence, especially when I’m asked to improvise on the spot,” Shasserre said. “I’ve learned so much and I’m sad to leave.”
The team was guided under mock trial supervisor Adam Onken, who has gotten to know the seniors well throughout his years of helping at Pius X.
Onken said, “It’s been fun to watch them grow through the years.”