“Humans of the Sacred Heart” – Caroline Hartch ’24

Why did you want to become a part of Mock Trial?

“I joined initially because my sister was the head and really enjoyed it.  After doing it for a year, I thought it was really interesting and fun.  I find reading the case very interesting, you are initially given a case that includes many affidavits, or accounts, of what happened in regards to the case.  Even small details in the affidavits need to be picked up on.  Learning to really comb through the information and learn what can look good or bad is a major part of Mock Trial, and something I find interesting.  There are a lot of small details provided that make a big difference in the case, and finding these small loopholes is really mind-opening and teaches you attention to detail.”

What does your role on the team entail?

“There are many roles, but this year I was a lawyer for the defense.  This means you write a direct and cross-examination, as well as prepare for objections.  A direct examination is something you have prewritten.  You write this for a witness, someone on the team you know.  Your goal is to make this person look good, and you write nonleading questions to try and paint the best picture of your witness as possible.  The director in Mock Trial has predetermined answers from a witness.  A cross-examination is given to someone you have never met on the other team.  This is meant to make the unknown witness look bad.  These questions are usually posed in a yes or no fashion and are meant to box the witness in.  Instead of prompting the witness to tell a story, your question contains the answer and you try to get them to say yes or no.  A good witness will try to avoid and evade the lawyer asking questions.  This witness is unaware of your questions beforehand.”

What skills have you gained from participating in the Mock Trial?

“From Mock Trial, I have learned a lot about the American legal process.  I have also learned a lot about thinking fast, as many mock trials are coming up with replies to objections.  Mock Trial has taught a lot, especially about how many intricacies are placed in our legal system.”

The King Street Chronicle thanks sophomore Caroline Hartch ’24 for her contributions to “Humans of Sacred Heart.”