CHS Mock Trial Enters the Regional Competition


Photo courtesy Chloe Root

Charles Solomon still remembers the first words he spoke in a courtroom when he was a freshman. “Good morning, Your Honor. I, Charles Solomon, along with my co-counsel, Cammi Tirico and Emmet Huhn, will be representing the prosecution.” He was the first person to break the air in a courtroom where legal professionals were judging him and his team. 

According to Solomon, one of his coaches describes Mock Trial as “pretend lawyer Olympics.” Martha Ribant, another member of Mock Trial said it is also affectionately called, “bullshitting the truth adjacently.”

“Each year, we get a pretend legal case, and the case will give you the witness statements of three witnesses on each side,” Solomon said. “You have to create a legal kind of trial for that, for this case you’ll have a prosecution — a team will have a prosecution — which has lawyers for the three prosecution witnesses, and people playing those witnesses, as well as the three defense witnesses.”

“It’s a great chance for both acting and debate, in a sense, because you think on your feet and kind of act like a lawyer.” Solomon said. “But you also have to make adjustments, be cognitive, make that kind of argument, which is more debate, and create a balance between acting and debate.”

This weekend, Mock Trial students will take on personas, just like Charles did in his favorite role last year.  “I was an expert named Dr. Quincy Wagstaff, PhD. I triple majored in economics, Political Science and International Relations,” Solomon said.  “I have three pet shih tzus, and I minor in French philosophy. It was such a pompous character who would constantly like to break into random, bad French, and I enjoyed it way too much. It was infuriating, but I hope in an entertaining way. I really enjoyed it.”

This year, the courtroom in which they would normally meet will be empty; instead, students will be presenting opening and closing statements, prosecuting and cross examining from bedrooms, family rooms and kitchens. “Mock Trial just changed immensely,” Ribant said. “I still love it and am glad to be able to do it but the overall energy is just so different online.”

“There’s this whole, walk around gesture, pause for emphasis, Your Honor—do all these sort of gestures,” Solomon said. “And how you do that on zoom is something I’m still working out. How do I walk around? How do I give these gestures when I’m on a two inch screen? How does that work? It’s been a bit of a struggle.”

This year has definitely been stressful when preparing for the competition, but every year is. “We get amazing amounts [done] in the last five days of practice,” Solomon said. “There’s been times where we’ve scrapped our entire case four days before competition because that’s just kind of how we operate.”

This year, the competition starts at 8:30 a.m. and involves three rounds on Saturday, Feb. 20.  Two teams from CHS will be competing, and they may even end up competing against each other for the regional win.   

Students Participating in this Years Mock Trial:

A Team with Martha Ribant and Zoe Buhalis as Captains


Jordan Tyson: Ava Kosinski Direct: Anna Stansfield Cross: Zoe Buhalis

Amador Vega: Geneve Thomas-Palmer Direct: Zoe Buhalis Cross: Charles Solomon

Skyler Paige: Charles Solomon Direct: Martha Ribant Cross: Martha Ribant

Anna Stansfield (Opening)

Zoe Buhalis

Martha Ribant (Closing)


Chris Munroe: Hollis Riggs Direct: Martha Ribant Cross: Anna Stansfield

Kiran Patel: Mori Ono Direct: Charles Solomon Cross: Martha Ribant

Dr. Parker: Geneve Thomas-Palmer Direct: Zoe Buhalis Cross: Zoe Buhalis

Charles Solomon (Opening)

Martha Ribant

Zoe Buhalis (Closing)

B Team with Ameera Salman and Ben Cooper as Captains


Jordan Tyson: Charlie Beeson Direct: Ben Cross: Ameera Salman

Amador Vega: Stevie Dumitrascu Direct: Izzy Jacobs Cross: Ben Cooper

Skyler Paige: Moose Gultekin Direct: Zoe Simmons Cross: Serena O’Brien

Ben Cooper (Opening)

Izzy Jacobs

Zoe Simmons (Closing)


Chris Munroe: Grey Collier Direct: Ameera Salman Cross: Zoe Simmons

Kiran Patel: Joey Lopez Direct: Serena O’Brien Cross: Ben Cooper

Dr. Parker: Evan Ash Direct: Ben Cooper Cross: Izzy Jacobs

Ameera Salman (Opening)

Ben Cooper

Serena O’Brien (Closing)