DP Mock captures 2013 county crown
2-0 victory over arch-rival San Marcos sends Chargers to their 5th straight state tournament
Overcoming a shortened practice season and a hard-fought challenge from its arch-rival, the Dos Pueblos Mock Trial team defended its county title by defeating San Marcos 2-0 in the 2013 Santa Barbara County Mock Trial Championship Saturday at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
It was the fifth consecutive county championship for the Chargers who advance to the California state championship tournament March 22 in Riverside, California. In 2011, the Chargers and Royals tied for the county title.
But this season the Chargers faced a unique set of challenges after an October trip to the Empire World Invitational in New York delayed their preparation for the county case by two months.
“Coming back from the world finals it was going to be quite a struggle to prepare for county jumping in so late in the game,” said co-captain and prosecution witness Nimisha Shinday. ”
“It was incredible to see how everyone pulled together as a team of both new and experienced members,” added lead prosecution attorney Alison Mally.
This year’s case involved a high school senior accused of felony hit-and-run after bicyclist Cameron Douglas was hit by a car and suffered serious and permanent injuries. The case also included a pretrial argument over whether the defendant’s statements to the investigating officer should be suppressed because the officer failed to read the defendant the Miranda warning.
Mally used her closing argument to poke holes in the San Marcos defense argument that their client Adrian Vega was not behind the wheel at the time of the accident and had allowed a foreign exchange student to drive her father’s expensive car.
“Your honor, what the defense is asking you to believe is that the one time the defendant disobeyed her father’s order and allowed someone else to drive her father’s vintage sports car, was the few minutes that it was involved in a crime,” said Matthys.
On the defense side, defense attorney Madeline Matthys emphasized the lack of physical evidence presented in trial.
“Officer Wright admitted that there was no physical evidence that placed my client in the driver’s seat at the time of the accident.”
The Chargers had defeated Santa Ynez in the morning semifinal round to set up the showdown with the Royals. Judge Brian Hill and local attorney Steven Amerikanner presided over the two championship trials.
“As Dos Publos Blue team heard they were facing off against San Marcos in the final rounds we were excited to have made it this far and, what’s more, have the chance to face an incredibly challenging and talented competitor,” said co-captain and defense attorney Hannah Cruz.
“The final round was an incredible experience and represented a cumulation of all the team’s hard work and dedication despite setbacks throughout the year. I am incredibly proud of both our teams and I look forward to representing Santa Barbara County at the state competition in Riverside!”
Sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, mock trial teams all receive the same case packet, witness statements and facts in September, and spend hours each week preparing their arguments and exams, researching the law, and developing character for the witnesses. Local attorneys donate their time to mentor and coach the students.
The Dos Pueblos Mock Trial team:
Prosecution Pretrial Attorney: Camille Wyss
Prosecution Attorneys: Alison Mally (captain), Madeleine Centrella, Laila Halimi
Prosecution Witnesses: Nimisha Shinday (captain), Sophia Zheng, Forbes Bainou, Camille Wyss
clerk: Jennifer Jimenez
Defense Pretrial Attorney: Delia Bullock
Defense Attorneys: Madeline Matthys, Hannah Cruz (captain), Ami Thakrar
Defense Witnesses: Bela Lafferty, Alissa Kruidenier, Jordan Degraffinreid
Bailiff: Wes Cooperman
Attorney Coaches: Joel Block, Nathaniel Block, Scott Campbell, Maureen Grattan