This afternoon the SMGS Mock Trial Team were successful against the Riverina Anglican College, Wagga Wagga, in a civil trial in the Law Society of NSW Mock Trial Competition. The case concerned the common law principle of negligence, whereby the plaintiff, who was an Australia Post worker, claimed $50,000 in damages after she was bitten by the defendant’s dog while trying to deliver a parcel to the defendant’s house.

The trial was run via video-link set up in “The Hub” at SMGS. Special thanks to Craig Moore, our IT Manager, and the AIS for providing the link to run the trial.

The students all performed very well in new roles. Eve Donnelly, as court officer, ensured the trial ran smoothly and took on the added task of making sure the camera and microphone were focused on the correct person.   Saskia Dutch and Bronte Hely are commended for stepping up to the role of barrister, owing to the unexpected unavailability of two other key members of the team. Ambrose Hansen and Sophie Pidcock did very well in their roles as witnesses and, in particular, performed with poise and confidence while under cross-examination. Amy Hobbs also did a great job as the solicitor, and she made valuable contributions to the preparation of the defence case during the trial.

I was very proud to see the team extend themselves into new roles in this trial and look forward to our future adventures in the next trial.

Of her experience during this round of the competition, Eve Donnelly said, “The mock trial round 4 was the last round robin, which means the next round will be an elimination round. Our team had some issues with important members pulling out at the last minute and other members having to step up and do a lot of extra work. We did have the option to forfeit but decided to compete, and I am really proud of us for winning closely by one point, despite the technological hindrance of doing the trial over video conference and the team members who pulled out. I find the experience of participating in mock trials a very rewarding one that gives me confidence and useful skills I can use in everyday life, such as thinking on my feet and having confidence in my public speaking. I enjoy being a part of both the competition and my team.”

As noted above, Saskia Dutch stepped into the role of barrister in this round and echoed her teammate’s sentiment, saying, “Round 4 of the mock trial was our first experience of  competing via the internet. Although there were some difficulties, we ended up coming home with the win! With people stepping up to major roles at the last minute, I thought we did an amazing job!”

Congratulations to the entire team!