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Copyright Chaos

Daniel Harper, Eagle's View Editor

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Top 40 band Spiders In Cars has been accused of intellectual theft from a dead jazz artist in this year’s Mock Trial competition. Students have been preparing the case since it was released in October, perfecting witness portrayals and attorney questioning.

“In Mock Trial, we argue both sides to a trial at different times. This year, it’s a copyright case; basically, a dead jazz artist’s parent gave the rights of a song to the label that it was recorded with. Another young budding band wrote a song that sounds substantially similar to the jazz song. The hardest points to argue are how they are similar, although for the other side we have to argue their differences,” senior Briana Byrd said.

The team was supposed to compete on the 16th of January, but since the region had inclement weather, their first competition was postponed. On Thursday, however, the team still competed as scheduled presenting their first case as the defense of Spiders In Cars.

“In Mock Trial, we have to argue on behalf of both the plaintiff and defense. This means you have to scrap initial opinions to completely dissect the case, looking for any flaw or discrepancy that can be swiftly accentuated and gloriously attacked in court. Standing up before the court hoping to bring new truths to light is an experience too thrilling for words. I’ve been lucky enough to be both a witness and attorney. Both have been incredible experiences, but nothing will ever be as exhilarating to me as being a witness under cross examination. The opposing side will try to poke any hole in your character’s case possible. Fending off their claims in a battle of words and wit is an experience unparalleled by any other,” junior Riley Sutherland said.

Each student has their own reason for participating, but most participate to learn about the American legal system or to improve speaking skills. Since the team has to work closely to create a smooth, flowing case, students on the team tend to bond and develop lasting friends; students also get to see how other schools interact and interpret the case.

“I believe that this is a great experience that allows you to go outside of your comfort zones as you portray personalities and characters that are different from yourself. It’s interesting to see other schools interact with them to see how they operate and work. Overall, Mock Trial is a great way to make friends and bond across grade levels,” sophomore Bryleigh Powell said.

On Jan 23rd, the team presented their second case, where they had to argue for the copyright as the plaintiff. So far, the team has won their first preliminary round, but they lost their second round. They have two more preliminary rounds in February to determine if they will proceed to the state competition.

“The team has done an amazing job, and this has been one of their best seasons. Each individual is well prepared. They presented themselves well in court whether attorney or witness. We are looking forward to going to the state competition. We have been so lucky this year in having assistance from Kate Noland, a local attorney, who aids us in building our case and developing knowledge of law,” Mock Trial sponsor Kim Scholes said.

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