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Mock trial team tackles opioid case

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Mock trial team tackles opioid case

The opioid epidemic is the focus of the fictional court case for this year’s mock trial team.

The opioid epidemic is the focus of the fictional court case for this year’s mock trial team.

Julia Gaetano

The opioid epidemic is the focus of the fictional court case for this year’s mock trial team.

Julia Gaetano

Julia Gaetano

The opioid epidemic is the focus of the fictional court case for this year’s mock trial team.

Gaige Grzelka, Staff Writer

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The opioid epidemic has been one of the dominant news stories of the past year.

It’s also the focus of the fictional court case for this year’s mock trial team.

The team is tackling the fictional case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Rae Shafer, M.D. In the case, a doctor is accused of illegally prescribing drugs to a patient, which led to the patient’s death later that day.

History teacher Adam Foote has led the mock trial team for several years, but he has been serving as an acting assistant principal at Harrison Middle School, so substitute teacher Matt Marchini is sponsoring the team this year.

Marchini is confident in the team’s ability to take on other schools in the competition.

“The students who have done this in the past are very experienced, and so I’m sure they will bring their `A’ game,” Marchini said.

The team will continue practicing until the competition in February at the county courthouse. When schools face off, the trial essentially is held twice: each school provides both a prosecution team and a defense team.

“I think these students are really motivated to do well and I’m excited to see how they will perform,” Marchini said.

Senior Julia Gaetano is participating in the mock trial for the first time this year.

“The main thing is getting established. It’s harder for the people who haven’t done anything with the mock trial before to get the hang of things,” Gaetano said.

They meet on Mondays and Thursdays to practice the case and work on finding evidence to support their claims.

Junior Michael Bradley is one of the lead defense attorneys. The defense team is more focused on debunking any angles the prosecution team can come up with rather than proving the fictional doctor’s innocence. The defense team will argue that he followed all of the required medical procedures and didn’t have any ill will toward the patient.

As for the prosecution team, Gaetano is one of the lead attorneys. The prosecution team’s main focus is on medical malpractice, and it will argue that the doctor put money first instead of the patient.

The students are learning a great deal about the legal system in the U.S. while working on the case, said senior Olivia Brophy, who is on her first year on the team.

“I didn’t know there was so much to learn about a case. You really have to know the ins and outs of a case,” Brophy said.

Bradley, meanwhile, is happy with the team’s progress.

“We’re further ahead than we were last year, so that’s a positive,” Bradley said

 

About the Writer
Gaige Grzelka, Staff Writer

Senior Gaige Grzelka is a first-year writer who often can be found dancing or filming. He has a passion for storytelling and filmmaking. Finding the truth...

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Mock trial team tackles opioid case