Booker T Washington High School mock trial team places fifth in the nation

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On May 7, the Booker T Washington mock trial team placed fifth out of 46 at the 2022 National High School Mock Trial Championship.  And, in her role as an attorney, Abby Chapman was named one of the “top ten lawyers in the country.” Alessia Chavez-Flores, of Creekview High in Carrollton, claimed second place in the courtroom artist category.

The seven members of the mock trial team competing at Nationals were led by co-captains Abby Chapman & Zoë Gameros, who along with sophomore Isabel Gameros, competed at Nationals in 2021. First-year mock trial team members included junior Claire Taylor, sophomore Jude Segrest and freshmen Maxine Louthan and Erin Mansour.

Booker T Washington High School mock trial team places fifth in the nationThe Nationals case materials were released on April 1, and the team began preparing by analyzing exhibits, pleadings and witness statements to craft arguments for both the plaintiff and defense sides of the case. The competition is unscripted, meaning that lawyers and witnesses alike must not only know all of the pertinent facts and legal arguments, but they must also be able to react to whatever the opposing team does. By the time Nationals began, the team had completed 12 scrimmages against other state champions.  During Nationals, all team members participated in four preliminary rounds held over three days, switching between plaintiff and defendant each round, sometimes with very little notice.

Satchel Victory serves as the faculty sponsor and Abby Mathews as the attorney advisor. This year, Bill Gameros acted as second chair assisting Mathews throughout the season. Steve Gwinn, co-chair of the Texas High School Mock Trial Competition, provided additional legal counsel during Nationals. Ron Chapman arranged for the team to compete from the law offices of Ogletree Deakins. Beth Chapman assisted with logistics throughout the season and arranged team meals during Nationals. Financial support and/or team meals were generously provided by Booker T. Washington HSPVA and its Advisory Board, the PTSA, Dr. Scott Rudes, the Dallas Bar Association, and Theatre Guild President Rhonda Thompson.

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