Mock Trial team prepares with lawyers for Feb. competition
As the school year began and academic clubs and teams were in full swing, Cathedral Catholic welcomed a new team to campus – the Mock Trial Team. As head of the team, American Government and Sociology teacher Ms. Melissa Padgett is looking forward to a great year.
“Last year in San Diego there were thirteen teams,” she said. “This year, it is my understanding that there are twenty-six teams, so obviously it has become quite competitive.”
She said, “Bishops has won the last three years, and Torrey Pines has finished runner-up the last two years, so we have some good competition, and we’re looking to do really well this year.”
Ms. Padgett attended a meeting for all new competing schools and gathered the information to form the team.
Three volunteer attorneys who work for the County of San Diego coach the Mock Trial Team. These include Ms. Christina Coates, who works at a local Carmel Valley law office, Capt. Ray B. Slabbekorn, who is a Captain in the United States Marine Corps and is an attorney for JAG (the Marine Corps legal system), and another lawyer who also works for the JAG team.
“Ms. Coates is our pre-trial attorney, and she focuses more on the Constitutional issues rather than the trial issues, which is what the other two attorneys will help us focus on,” said Ms. Padgett.
Ms. Padgett recommends that those interested in the legal field or becoming lawyers join the team. She said, “It is about the closest thing to a real trial you can get to because there are attorneys coaching the students, and the competition will take place in the Superior Court House in Downtown this February.”
While this year’s team is already finalized, students are encouraged to join next year.