SAS Mock Trial Team Achieves Rare "Double Gavel" at 2020 Competition
Liz Torrey

 

St. Andrew's competed against 25 other Delaware high schools in the Delaware Mock Trial Championships on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22. The tournament, which has been organized by the Delaware Law-Related Education Center for the past 29 years, was held at a courthouse in Wilmington.

Full tournament results are not yet available. Below are some partial results.

In the first round St. Andrew's prosecution team faced off against Mount Pleasant High School.
In this round Arvin Vanikar ’21 won the Best Witness Award. Piper Jackman ’21 and Ben Butcher ’22 also participated as witnesses. Representing St. Andrew's as attorneys were Iris Hwang ’20, Marvi Ali ’21, and Riley Baker ’21.

In the second round, our defense team faced St. Elizabeth's, the eventual second-place winners of the tournament. Cierra Martinez ’20, Riley Baker ’21, and Austin Daly ’22, and were the defense attorneys. Riley was generous and brave; she took on the defense attorney role for Sarah Bruno ’21 at the last minute when Sarah was unexpectedly unable to compete. "Riley was able to do as well as she did in part because Sarah had prepared the defense case so thoroughly throughout our winter season," explained Mock Trial Head Coach Dan O'Connell. Griffin Pitt ’21 was awarded the Best Witness Award in this trial, and was accompanied by Ashlie Doucette ’21 and Madeline Birknes ’21 as witnesses for the defense.

On Saturday morning, St. Andrew's defense team faced students from Ursuline Academy in a particularly successful third round for the Saints. During this trial, Austin Daly took home the Best Attorney Award, while Griffin Pitt won for Best Witness for a second time—an accomplishment known in mock trial circles as a "double gavel."

For St. Andrew's final round, the prosecution team was opposed by the team from Wilmington Friends School. In this trial, Ben Butcher's performance earned the Best Witness Award.

"The Saints gave some of the strongest performances I have seen in my nineteen years coaching Mock Trial," said Coach O'Connell at the end of the weekend. "Please congratulate them for their hard work, guts and passionate performances."

Coincidentally, SAS alum Caneel Radinson-Blasucci ’10 was a judge at the Mock Trial Championships. She is a corporate litigation attorney practicing with Potter Anderson Corroon in Wilmington. Caneel did not judge any of St. Andrew's trials, but congratulated the Saints attorneys on the SAS Instagram account over the weekend.

You can view photos from the competition on the Delaware Online website.

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