Mock trial team gets new coaches


Photo provided by Nanci Bramson

The mock trial team waits near JDS’ exit with their two new coaches before a trial.

Rochelle Berman, Assistant Copy Editor

CESJDS’ mock trial team has been given a fresh start with their new coaches this season. Their next trial will be against the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy’s mock trial team this Tuesday. 

After being led for years by former coach Heitzi Epstein, the mock trial team now has two new coaches, Nanci Bramson and Rona Kelner, who decided to step up to the plate. As lawyers, these two CESJDS parents felt that they could bring something to the table. 

“I don’t think we really knew what was involved … because it’s a ton of work,” Bramson said. 

This work begins after the team receives a case book which tells them whether they will be doing a civil or criminal case, as well as information about the case itself and the different characters involved in the scenario. This year, the team received a civil case, which Bramson was especially excited about since she is a civil lawyer.

After studying the case book, the team prepares for their trial by picking students to play different parts and then scripting each part. Preparation is time-consuming because the team must determine the best way to argue their case, as if they are the lawyers themselves, to clearly show that their team is innocent. 

Team members first decide how they are going to shape and argue their case and then hours are spent memorizing lines. After this, more time is spent perfecting the delivery of each line in order to compel the judges at the trial to rule in their favor. 

“I don’t even want to be a lawyer or do anything in the profession… but it’s just fun to work through the case and the facts of the case and figure out how to argue different things,” Sophomore Adina Schwartz, a new member of the team this year, said.

Mock trial requires the students to constantly be on their toes. After spending about six weeks creating their case, the work continues to build up between each trial. 

“We keep perfecting it [our presentation] each time we do a trial…we keep changing things a little bit, and that has been difficult for the kids,” Bramson said.

Aside from the pressure that is put on the students to work hard and do well during the trials, they also have the opportunity to work with a new group of people and create a tight-knit team. It is important to nurture friendships within groups such as these as it aids them when competing against other schools.

“The group of people is really great, and it’s really fun to talk and work through trials together,” Schwartz said.