CHS Mock Trial team to compete in online tournament


Photography by Geneve Thomas-Palmer. The Mock Trial team finishes up their practice by filming an introductory video to be presented at the opening ceremony.

After months of preparation, the CHS Mock Trial team is ready to face their competition in the first round of Empire, an international Mock Trial tournament. The tournament, which is normally held in-person in a major city, has adjusted to the coronavirus outbreak by moving to an online video communication platform.

On Wednesday Oct. 28, the competition’s opening ceremony was held over Zoom. The event began with memes about the case coming through the Empire twitter, displayed on the screen, and included introductory videos from teams, discussion about online competition from the event’s master of ceremonies and a speech about social justice from a guest speaker. This was followed by breakout rooms for competitors to mingle with peers, and the challenges, where teams decided who they would compete against in the first round.

The CHS team will compete against Bishop O’Dowd High School the evening of Thursday Oct. 29.

Though Empire staff has strived to make the event as close to the in-person competitions as possible, team captain Martha Ribant—who competed in the previous year—said the experience doesn’t compare.

“It’s hard to watch it without comparing it to last year,” Ribant said. “Empire in New York last year was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to go somewhere that I love, doing something that I love, and with people that I love. Online Mock Trial sadly just hasn’t been the same. I think the Empire team has been trying their hardest and I really respect them for that. I’m trying my hardest to stay positive and to remind myself that just because it won’t be as good last year doesn’t mean it still can’t be good.”