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BISV Mock Trial Club

Previously published May 24. 2022
Mock Trial Captains getting distracted while preparing for the tournament <3 From left to right: Jack Zhang '22, Ishaan Nanal '22, Katherine He '22

Previously published May 24. 2022

What is Mock Trial?

Mock Trial is a club where students compete and simulate the proceedings of a real court. The team is divided into Prosecution and Defense and are given the facts of a crime. The Prosecution and Defense teams each have 4 attorneys and 4 witnesses, who are given preassigned witness statements. During the competition, the witnesses on each side embody their characters, whether it be a witty doctor who explains why the bruise on the victim indicates strangulation, or a character who tearfully sobs over her friend’s death. The attorneys and witnesses work throughout the year to establish examinations of the witnesses and prepare a set of questions to ask each witness. At the conclusion of each trial, each judge gives a verdict. While Legally Blonde is a fabulous film, Mock Trial’s proceedings are much more grounded than the eccentric story of Elle Woods.

The Mock Trial Tournament is hosted annually by the Santa Clara County Office of Education in collaboration with the Santa Clara County Bar Association. From late January to February, schools are matched to directly compete with each other in the tournament. The first place winners in each county will then have the opportunity to compete in State and National competitions.

2021 Case Packet: People V. Cobey

We now call this case to order.

The 2021-2022 California Case packet revolves around fictional case People V. Cobey. This case packet is a wild ride. The story is set in a small desert town in California and resident Erik Smith was found dead via rattlesnake bite on April 29th, 2021. Though he’s made many enemies throughout the years, the police have determined the main suspect to be Jamie Cobey, Erik’s troublesome tenant. After a particularly heated argument between Erik and Jamie, the power shut off in their apartment complex. Unfortunately, this means that Jamie’s mom who has a medical condition that requires her to use an oxygen tank 24/7 passes away. A week later, neighbor Angel Russel sees Erik get bitten by a mojave rattlesnake upon opening his mailbox. Thinking the pain was only momentary, Erik refused to take antivenom and soon passed away. Did Jamie kill Erik in cold blood? Or was this just an unfortunate series of accidents?


  1. Los Gatos (Prosecution) V. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (Defense)
    Best Witness: Catherine Tan (Jamie Cobey)
    Best Attorney: Anwita Satapathy
    BISV Victory! 457:442
  2. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (Prosecution) V. Cupertino (Defense)
    Best Witness: Siddarth Maddhula (Dr. Charlie Dunn)
    Best Attorney: Natalie Liu
    BISV Loss! 291:301
  3. Leigh (Prosecution) V. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (Defense)
    Best Witness: Daniel Kagnovitch (Dr. Tyler Clay)
    Best Attorney: Jack Zhang
    BISV Win! 326:426
  4. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (Prosecution) V. EVHS (Defense)
    Best Witness: Abhinav Wunnava (Toni Garrett)
    Best Attorney: Katherine He
    BISV Win! 586:559
  5. Cupertino High School (Prosecution) V. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (Defense)
    Best Witness: Aisha Mohideen (Francis Yazzie)
    Best Attorney: Jack Zhang
    BISV Win!
  6. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (Prosecution) V. Lynbrook High School (Defense)
    Best Witness: Alice Zhou (Terry Edwards)
    Best Attorney: Katherine He
    BISV Loss 🙁

In 2022, BISV advanced to the semi-finals for the first time ever, with a win of 656 to 646! Please congratulate our Bobcats!

Here are some testimonies from our 2021-2022 Captains!

(Jack Zhang ’22, Katherine He ’22, Ishaan Nanal ’22)

Why did you choose Mock Trial?
“Honestly, the people. When I entered the club everyone was so welcoming, and when I saw the collaborative environment. I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

Were you at all interested in law before? Or did Mock Trial align with your academic interests at all?
“No actually. I wasn’t very interested in law at all. It wasn’t something that was ever on my mind, but Mock Trial completely changed my previous perceptions of the field.

Get to Know the Team: What is your favorite objection?

Katherine: Hearsay (A)
Gauri: More Prejudicial Than Probative (A)
Jack: More Prejudicial Than Probative (A)
Ishaan: The Bar is Extremely Low for Relevance (PA)
Natalie: Badgering the Witness (A)
Daniel H.: Speculation (PA)
Anwita: Speculation (A)
Shiven: Unfair Extrapolation (A)
Anna Saber: Lack of Foundation (Attorney Coach)
Tessa Stephenson: Unfair Extrapolation (Attorney Coach)
A: Attorney
PA: Pretrial Attorney

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Alice Zhou, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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