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April 20 • 05:16 AM
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Mocking the system


Capac's Mock Trial Team takes top honors in state competition


March 25, 2009
CAPAC — Members of the high school's Mock Trial team unabashedly compare themselves to a dysfunctional family. It's not often that 'success' is paired with 'maladjusted,' but they are the exception to the rule.

The 13 member team of teens aspiring for law careers bested other local high schools last month in county competition and on March 14 and outperformed dozens of other schools in regional competition in Pontiac, taking home trophies an an honorable all- state mention.

The high schoolers chalk up their good showing to a variety of skills, advisor Steve Sampson proudly reported.

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The Capac Mock Trial team includes (l-r) Jessica Patton, Kleab Silorey, Steffi Gator, Tony Hargis, Shane O’Connor, Matt Lee, Joe Allison, Kami Misch, Eric Rawlins, Glenn Hill, Ian Schaefer, Cheyenne Pywell and Laura Pewinski and advisor Steve Sampson. photo by Maria Brown.

"It's all about how daring you are," said Shane O'Connor.

"It's confidence," Tony Hargis chimed in, "and using the right language."

Glenn Hill says matter-of-factly, "it's basically acting."

O'Connor, Hargis, Hill, Matt Lee, Cheyenne Pywell, Kleab Silorey and Eric Rawlins comprised the Capac B team which took first at the county competition. It was the first time a Capac team had placed in four years.

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The A team—Jessica Patton, Steffi Gator, Joe Allison, Kami Misch, Ian Schaefer and Laura Pewinski—took sixth. Misch was the top scorer for the team, earning the nickname 'bulldog' from one judge after making two witnesses cry.

Then presiding and retired judges and attorneys judged the teams on their presentation as attorneys and witnesses in a texting-while-driving civil court case. An aspiring artists sues her friend who was multi-tasking behind the wheel, causing an injury accident.

Hargis and Lee earned first places as witnesses. Lee said impressing the judges boils down to keeping the facts straight and exuding confidence. Keeping a level head was complicated even more by the fact that the mock trial team members had to play several roles at once.

In regional competition, Sampson said, the B team took tenth place and the A team took fourteenth.

In addition to Sampson, the team is under the tutelage of attorneys Steven Heisler and Keith Bankson.

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