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From Law and Society, to Mock Trial: Learn About These Two Students’ 4-Year Journey

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IMG_0583-2This year’s Mock Trial competition was SECA’s best one yet. For the first time, SECA placed 2nd out of twelve schools throughout San Joaquin County, and a total of five individual awards were given.

In addition to individual awards within the county, each school’s coach chose a team member from both the Defense and Prosecution team that he/she deemed “the top.” Our Mock Trial Coach Mr. Lewis chose two members: Rain Taganas (12) (Defense) and Natalie Rosales (12) (Prosecution). Although the award was given based on this year’s performance, they’ve both contributed to SECA’s Mock Trial the past three years.

Taganas started by taking the Law and Society elective his freshman year. Although he describes himself as “assertive” now, it hadn’t always been that way.

“I was timid my freshman year,” Taganas said. “I wasn’t confident when I spoke in my presentations. Now, I have confidence in my speaking abilities and my argumentation; I’m louder than I was before, too.”

Despite being timid, he still chose to join Mock Trial his sophomore year.

“For our final [in Law and Society], we had to do a Goldilocks case. I liked it so I decided to be in Mock Trial.”

As a sophomore, Taganas was the alternate for the Prosecution Expert in the varsity team whenever the Prosecution Expert couldn’t attend any competitions. For the junior varsity team, he was an attorney. At that time, he also did opening statements.

Junior year was when Taganas performed. He was Prosecution Attorney, in which he did the opening statement, a direct examination, and a cross examination.

However, this year was different from the rest.

IMG_0412“It was more exciting since we got to scrimmage with more teams outside of the county,” Taganas said. “I’ve been much more comfortable in the courtroom when I’m competing, but Saturday’s semi-finals and finals stressed me out. Because this year was our best team so far and the majority of us are seniors, we all wanted to bring out our best performances on Saturday.”

Like Taganas, Rosales started with Law and Society, and enjoyed the final for the elective, too.

“I didn’t know how to write a cross or a direct [for the final],” Rosales said, “But it was fun and it made me want to join Mock Trial the next year.”

Rosales’s first time performing was her sophomore year, when she went from junior varsity Defense Attorney to varsity Defense Witness; she had to fill in for one of the witnesses who couldn’t attend.

Junior year, Rosales became Lead Defense Attorney, but switched to Lead Prosecution Attorney this year.

“Mr. Lewis let the Lead Attorneys pick which side they wanted to do,” Rosales said, “And because I’ve never been Prosecution, I wasn’t to try something new.”

IMG_0562This year served to be different from the rest for other reasons, too.

“It’s my last year so I felt like I had to give my 110%,” Rosales said. “Also, Mr. Lewis scheduled a lot of scrimmages so we got more practice, and we bonded on all the bus rides so that helped with team dynamics.”

Stockton Early College Academy's Premiere News Center
From Law and Society, to Mock Trial: Learn About These Two Students’ 4-Year Journey