Archive 2008 - 2019

Holliston High School Law Team

by Deb Moore

The Holliston High School Law Team participated in a mock trial February, 2009, Holliston vs. Marian HS at Natick District Court.

 It was a murder trial. Holliston WON!

Seated at the defense table on the right for Holliston L-R attorneys John Moore, Anna Chen , Kelly Condon and Lindsy Davis (Co-Captain) all seniors.

This is the Massachusetts Bar Association 2009 Mock Trial Program. This year's team's focus was on a criminal case where the defendant is on trial for murder. The defendant was a recent war veteran who raises the defense of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as an insanity defense and as a defense of mitigation of the charge of first degree murder. The case focuses on whether the defendant is actually suffering from PTSD, and whether PTSD is a complete or partial defense in the case.

The prosecutor's challenge was to prove the defendant's culpability for his or her actions, while the defendant's challenge was to establish a defense that will excuse, in the eyes of the law, some or all of the defendant's responsibility for his or her actions.

This case gave participants an opportunity not only to learn about a serious mental health issue afflicting many returning veterans, but also how the current state of the law addresses, or fails to address, this particular case. 

Students are scored on their knowledge of procedure, the law and the facts of the case, in addition to the overall quality of their presentation. Students are rated on a scale of one to ten, they are added together to give the team score.

The Mock Trial Program has been structured with the following goals in mind:
1. To further the student's understanding of the law, court procedures, civil liberties and our legal system.
2. To increase their proficiency in basic life skills, such as listening, speaking, reading and reasoning.
3.To develop advocacy skills regardless of which side of the case is being represented and irrespective of the party with which you most identify.
4.To promote better communication and cooperation between you, the schools and the legal profession.
5.To heighten the student's consciousness of law-related professions and the academic studies, which lead to those professions.

The MBA schedules all trial enactments before sitting judges in district courthouses. This year was the 24th Annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Program. Brian Healy is the teacher coach for HHS.