Mock Trial Tournament Season Underway


Todd Cammarata

The Mock Trial A Team at the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh. Left to Right: Lindsey Walk, Abby Kaspick, Mario Grugan, Ashlynn McKinney, Miranda Goodman, Sarah Butina, Emily Dale, Ben Delbaggio and Kat Lehner.

The Tyrone Mock Trial A team traveled to Pittsburgh on January 4 and 5 for the annual University of Pittsburgh Mock Trial Competition and to the Penn State University campus this past weekend for the 2020 Blue and White Classic Tournament.

In Pittsburgh over two days, the A team had four trials. Each day there were two trials, one for the plaintiff and one for defense.  At Penn State, the team had to cancel their trip for the first day of the tournament due to winter weather but were able to compete on the second day.

I thought we did extremely well at both tournaments, especially considering how many new underclassman we have on the team. Every trial was close and I was very proud of the way we performed

— Todd Cammarata

“I thought we did extremely well at both tournaments, especially considering how many new underclassmen we have on the team. Every trial was close and I was very proud of the way we performed,” said Mock Trial Adviser Todd Cammarata.

The A Team only has four returning members from last season, and the rest of the team are freshmen. The tournament trials are a learning experience and provide great experience before the county level competitions.

“I realized I was more prepared than I thought. I can’t wait until next year because we will have one Pittsburgh tournament under our belt,” said freshman attorney Ashlynn McKinney.

Over the two days in Pittsburgh, the team ended with 1 win, 1 tie, and 2 losses.  At Penn State, they lost both trials in close matches.  The second loss was to the tournament’s overall winner, Spring Grove High School.

“I loved the experience. I enjoyed getting to know people and figuring out how Mock Trial actually works. I can’t wait until next year,” said witness Emily Dale.

This year’s A Team includes attorneys Miranda Goodman, Mario Grugan, and Ashlynn McKinney. The witnesses on A Team are Ben DelBaggio, Katherine Lehner, Abigail Kaspick, Lindsey Walk, Sarah Butina, and Emily Dale.  The team is coached by Mr. Todd Cammarata.

This year, the Mock Trial team was a huge hit to incoming freshman and sophomores. There were even enough members to make a second team.

Members of the B Team are attorney’s Makenzie Weaver, Emma Reese, and Hailey Fisher. The witnesses are Hailey Vanish, Tyler Vanish, and Rhaya Gority. Mr. Josh King is coaching the B Team this year.

Tyrone mock trial students on the University of Pitt Campus
The Mock Trial A Team stands by the panther statue on the Pittsburgh university campus. Left to Right: Abby Kaspick, Ben Delbaggio, Kat Lehner, Emily Dale, Ashlynn McKinney, Mario Grugan, Sarah Butina, Miranda Goodman, and Lindsey Walk.

This year’s case is Addison Babbage v. Ruffed Grouse High School, a civil case (click the link in the title to see the full case materials). The plaintiff, Addison Babbage is a student at Ruffed Grouse who excels at chess. After her parents buy a piece of land that was previously a teen hangout, Addison began to get bullied. After months of bullying, Addison snaps and takes a sledgehammer to the brand new chess lab, causing $100,000 worth of damage. Addison and her family are accusing Ruffed Grouse of negligence while Ruffed Grouse is accusing Addison and their parents are more negligent than they are.

“It was a great weekend. I thought we would win more but it’s clear we’re going to dominate the competition this year,” said sophomore attorney Mario Grugan.

The Tyrone A Team has two trials coming up. They will face Central Cambria at the Cambria County Courthouse on January 22 at 6:00 p.m. For the second trial, they will face Central at the Blair County Courthouse on February 11, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

The B team already had their first trial, a close loss to Windber on January 14. They will also face Bellwood at the Blair County Courthouse on February 4.

All trials are free and open to the public.