GSSM Places Third in State Mock Trial Competition

March 19, 2021

The annual State High School Mock Trial Competition was held March 11-13. Twelve teams advanced to the state competition based on their performances during regionals, which were held two weeks prior. This year’s court case was a civil suit that involved claims of negligence and wrongful death. GSSM participated in three rounds, facing teams from Charleston County School of the Arts, Bob Jones Academy, and York Prep. GSSM presented the defense’s case in the second round, while arguing the plaintiff’s case in the other rounds. Each match has three scoring judges, who grade every aspect of the trial.  Teams are ranked based on the number of wins, the number of total ballots won, and the total number of points. GSSM placed third in the state mock trial competition after earning two wins and 7 total ballots.

Round 1: Plaintiff

GSSM won all 3 ballots and 2 judges’ awards.

  • Elena Morgan awarded Most Effective Attorney.
  • Haleigh Gartner awarded Most Effective Witness.

Round 2: Defense

GSSM’s defense lost in a tough split-decision with Bob Jones but won the witness award.

  • Maura Hilbourn awarded Most Effective Witness.

Round 3: Plaintiff

GSSM won all 3 ballots and both judges’ awards.

  • Maura Hilbourn awarded Most Effective Attorney.
  • Lili Fonteneau awarded Most Effective Witness.

The 3rd place finish, combined with last year’s 2nd place finish, make the 2020-2021 seasons GSSM’s best run yet. Each of our seven seniors won an individual award at either the regional or state competition this year, including 10 judges’ awards. Zachary Goodwin and Elena Morgan deserve special recognition for leading GSSM this year.

“Preparing for Mock Trial definitely requires a lot of work, but the students never lost their enthusiasm, even with the migration of the event to a virtual format,” said coach Gary Salazar. “They learned about perseverance and adaptation while speaking with poise and confidence.”

Here are the 11 students who participated this year, along with their respective roles:

  • David Bullock (Defense attorney)
  • Aidan Driscoll (P. witness and D. witness)
  • Lili Fonteneau (Plaintiff witness)
  • Stephen Galaida (timekeeper)
  • Haleigh Gartner (Plaintiff witness)
  • Zachary Goodwin (co-captain and D. attorney)
  • Emily Anne Harris (Defense witness)
  • Maura Hilbourn (P. attorney and D. witness)
  • Mia Kim (Plaintiff attorney)
  • Elise Lanahan (Defense attorney)
  • Elena Morgan (co-captain and P. attorney)