High school mock trial completes its season
The 2009 mock trial season at Somerset High School wrapped up after the SHS team debated a case involving the effects of a chemical spill.
Answers to the hypothetical problem included autism, liver cancer and property damages. In this year's mock trial case the Jones family, who all suffer from severe medical conditions, believes their health problems are a result of Badger Aeromechanical Corp.'s chemical spills. This company is located near the Jones' residence.
The fictitious Badger Corp. has a history of spills, which has resulted in contamination of a creek that runs behind Badger's facility. Noxious fumes are also emitted, which interfere with the surrounding property.
The Badger defense team was represented by the lawyers Jered Deal, Dana Carlson and Tayler Miller. Their goal was to defend Badger's safety and health procedures. They relied on the testimony of their key expert witnesses: Jerry Smith played by Gina Hanzlik, Riff Randall played by Dakota Belter and Leslie Nielson played by Brooke Donohoe.
The Jones' prosecution team was composed of lawyers Jered Deal, Dana Carlson and Gina Hanzlik. Their goal was to prove Badger's responsibility in causing the Jones family's health problems. They relied on the testimony of Lee Jones played by Devon Triebold, Kris Wessell played by Anthony Howe and Robin Roberts played by Allie Butler.
Ellie Vanasse and John Russell served as timers for the competition held at the Eau Claire County Courthouse on Feb. 7. Hanzlik was recognized by the judges with an honorable mention honor for her performance as a lawyer.
During the day the students perform four trials and they must be prepared to argue both sides. That is why Deal and Carlson were on both the defense team and the prosecution team.
The team extends its thanks to Joel Schiltz and Chris Anderson, lawyer coaches, for their assistance in coaching this year's mock trial team. In addition, a thank you is extended to Matt Hanzlik, the first Somerset Mock Trial student to compete at the college level. He also advised and coached the participants in preparation for the competition.