Four Diamond Bar High School students competed in the prestigious National High School Moot Court Competition held in Washington, D.C. on March 22.
(1) Deedee Chao, Jasmine Samra, Sarah Cho, and Sharon Zhang celebrate after the competition. Jasmine Samra, Deedee Chao, Sharon Zhang, and Sarah Cho waiting for the competition to begin. Sarah Cho and competitor Benjamin Billips of Texas in the courtroom.
Congratulations to the 2012 Brahma Team members - senior Jasmine Samra, juniors Sarah Cho and Deedee Chao, and freshman Sharon Zhang.
The team was coached by math teacher Latitia Thomas and science teacher Nicole Cabase.
Jasmine and Sarah made it to the top 32. Sarah went on to the top 16.
“They competed against 98 stellar competitors and did an amazing job,” Cabase said.
“This task is extremely difficult and requires incredible poise, fast thinking skills and a working knowledge of the law,” she said.
The American University, Washington College of Law hosts the only Invitational Moot Court Competition for high school students in the country.
Diamond Bar High has attended the competition for about 13 years and has seen the competition grow from 25 schools to 100 schools.
“We were invited the first year because our Mock Trial team won the Los Angeles County Mock Trial Championship. And we have been invited back each year because we have done so well” she said.
The DBHS Mock Trial team has 33 team members. The program involves students who portray witnesses and students that serve as attorneys.
Witnesses need to be good speakers and actors, Cabase said.
Moot Court Competition teams can only consist of four students and is open to all interested DBHS students, This year, nine Brahmas participated in the try-outs for the four coveted spots.
“It is an intimating team to be on,” she said. There is no greater challenge as an orator than this Moot court competition. Students must first learn the law necessary to understand two 10-page legal briefs from a fictional appellate court case.
There are two because one is for the petitioner and one is for the respondent (legal terms for prosecution and defense). The students must also learn (completely memorize), understand, and be able to use about 25 court cases.
Each student incorporates all of this information in a 15-minute written argument either for or against the petitioner. The students argue their side against the other school’s opposing arguer in front of a panel of attorneys and 3rd year law students.
The panel can interrupt them at any time, and they do! The students must be able to answer any question and then return to their argument. Each student gets two minutes to rebut the arguments.
“We prepare for this competition for a little over two months,” Cabase said. The case posted in mid-January was used for the try-outs.
The four members selected for the elite team practiced four days a week until the competition.
It is an exceptionally daunting task, Cabase said.