2023 Mock Trial

Arlet Cruz, Assistant Editor

WHAT IS MOCK TRIAL? The Lodi High School Mock Trial Club is a team that stages a trial, provided by the state of New Jersey,  while employing the rules and regulations of actual law and legal trials. Every January, teams from each county compete  in their corresponding county courthouse. LHS and other schools defend their side of a case with a team of two lawyers and three witnesses in hopes of moving on to more challenging rounds. 

This year’s civil case, Sam Arena vs Dylan Salerno, focuses on  the wrongful death of Rory Salerno, Dylan’s grandchild. On the team, there are four “lawyers,” two for the defense and two for the plaintiff. This year Lodi High School’s mock trial team, advised by Mr. Tuttle and Mrs. Basile is proud to share that its plaintiff attorneys are Omar Lopez and Dunia Zawahreh. The defense attorneys are Aiden Cabrara and Arlet Cruz. There are also a total of six witnesses (three for each side), all portrayed by students at Lodi high school. 

When asked about her thoughts on the team’s first year competing in person since COVID, Mrs.Basile states, “I feel optimistic about this year’s Mock Trial team. Each member has shown a sense of dedication to practicing their role. ” She also shares that, “ [The] team’s greatest strength this year is a shared enthusiasm for both the case and competition with other schools. We also have an excellent coach this year, Daniel Paxton, who has been helpful in preparing attorneys and witnesses.” 

This year’s first Mock Trial competition was held in the Bergen County Courthouse on January 25th against Garfield High School. Lodi’s defense team, led by Cruz and Cabrera, emerged victorious. As a result, the plaintiff team will be competing on Wednesday February 1.