Westhampton Beach students excel during mock trial competition

middle school students thumbnail256987

Westhampton Beach Middle School mock trial class members won three out of four cases during the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Annual Mock Trial tournament at Suffolk County Community College.

“This was super impressive for Westhampton's first time competing,” said teacher Kelly Massaro. “Far more important than the win was seeing my students suited and confident, thinking critically, and using their voices to enforce the law.”

During the competition, 31 mock trial students competed against four other middle schools in a mock criminal case. The cases were presided over by Supreme Court judges and district attorneys.

Prior to the competition, Westhampton Beach students prepared two defense and two prosecution teams that included lawyers and witnesses. They also conducted legal research and mastered all aspects of a trial, including openings, closings, objections, submitting evidence, creating a theory for the case, direct examination, cross examination and redirect.

The students were also fortunate enough to have private practice lawyer Thomas Gibbons assist in preparing them.

“He is an expert not only in the law, but also in guiding the students through all the intricacies of criminal trials in a way that helped them grow as thinkers and potential lawyers,” said Massaro. “We are so grateful for his generous donation of time and teaching.”

Date Added: 4/10/2024