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CGA Mock Trial Team Takes the Stand during Guardian Invitational

by Stefanie Senkow
October 11, 2018

CGA Mock Trial TeamNEW LONDON, Conn. -- A chimpanzee wreaks havoc on the set of a television show, attacking and killing a writer and leaving witnesses speechless. Now the scene turns to a courtroom where the chimpanzee’s owner must face the television production company and a judge in a case of negligence. If this scenario sounds unreal, well, it is! But for the CGA cadets on the Mock Trial Team, it’s their job to act out the courtroom drama as realistically as possible for the Guardian Invitational.

“This is an academic competition, a battle of wits, where you can craft your character and be true to that character and true to yourself as you take the courtroom floor,” said First Class Cadet (1/c) Matthew Nagle, Mock Trial Team member.

Bringing together 18 teams encompassing 200 students from colleges throughout the nation, the Guardian Invitational is a unique platform for cadets to develop their public speaking and analytical thinking skills in a mock trial setting that allows them to go all-out, as they embody the character roles they have chosen.

“Matt played the role of a police officer one year that was straight out of a 70s cop show,” laughs 1/c Owen Kratowicz, Mock Trial Team member. “Everything about his portrayal from his accent and his attire to his approach to handling the questions was spot-on. Our team gets points based on our ability to make the characters convincing and credible.”

As the Team gears up for this year’s competition, designating roles, developing characters, mastering the case material and deriving their theory, they are reminded of the real-life gains they’re receiving through this experience.

“This truly is a team effort. We learn and practice public speaking and convey our case in a clear and concise manner, which are applicable skills in the fleet,” said 1/c Kirsten Sharp, Mock Trial Team Captain. “Our team is very passionate about what we do because we do not have a sports credit or extra-curricular credit associated with our efforts, and it is an activity that takes a lot of time – a testament to our dedication. Most of us on the team have an interest in pursuing law school in the future so this is great practice.”

This year’s Guardian Invitational is set for October 20 & 21, 2018 at the Academy.