Lancer Spotlight 2/3/23: Mock trial team suffers a close defeat to Urbana High School


Victoria Benson

The Mock Trial team stands together just before their competition with Urbana.

by Ellowyn Ojeda, Reporter

Linganore’s mock trial team’s plaintiff tied with Urbana, 118-118 but lost the tie point awarded by the judge. This is their second defeat of the year, after the team’s defense lost their first match to Gov. Thomas Johnson High School.

Every year, the mock trial case has a connection to a problem that is evident in today’s society.

The case this year centers around the innocence of a college freshman, Ryan Grimes, who is being tried for conspiracy to distribute Adderall. 

In the case, a trio of college seniors run an Adderall ring at Catoctin College where Grimes attends. Grimes is routinely seen at the trio’s apartment around the time of an increase in Adderall sales. It is up to the plaintiff to prove that Grimes was involved in the conspiracy to sell Adderall, while the defense attempts to prove his innocence. 

Although hypothetical, the case touches on the hard truth that as many as 1 in 3 students have used an illicit drug during their college years. 

The “drugs of choice” according to Maryland Courts tend to be Ritalin and Adderall and fall under the same class as cocaine. Cocaine is a small part of this story, as the trio had bought cocaine to distribute but didn’t have a chance to before being discovered by the police. 

In an effort to stop the overuse of these drugs, the Maryland state judicial system has come up with the punishment of hefty fines and prison time to all who use and/or distribute said narcotics. As he would in a Maryland court, Grimes is facing five years of incarceration and fines of up to $15,000.00 if proven guilty. 

This year’s LHS team is newer with less experience in mock trial competitions. In past years, the team has had more experienced attorneys and witnesses to lead the team; however, this year the team only has one senior, Elaine Escamilla who serves as a defense attorney this year.

After the tough loss, Linganore English teacher and mock trial coach Sue Peterson had positive things to say about the team.

The Linganore mock trial team is at practice the Tuesday before the trial against Urbana High School. (Ellowyn Ojeda)

“It’s a really nice group, [but] there aren’t as many attorneys and witnesses that have as much experience as previous years,” Peterson  said. “But, everyone gets along really well and are very determined.” 

Linganore social studies teacher Jamie Hendi coaches the team with Peterson. Despite the loss, she is proud of the outcome of the trial.

“Urbana is one of the best teams in the county, consistently,” Hendi said. “They were tough last night, but we held our own. We just did amazing.”

Although LHS ultimately lost after a tie-breaker, team captain Benjamin Conway remains hopeful.

“We lost to a tie point, and I honestly still have high hopes for the next two trials,” Conway said. 

The Linganore mock trial team is preparing for their next match on February 7 as the defense against Middletown High School’s plaintiff.

Hendi has thoughts on how the team can better prepare for their upcoming competition.

“The team should work on trusting themselves more and relying less on their notes,” Hendi said. 

Peterson shared some different, constructive notes for her team.

“The attorneys need to work on slowing down,” Peterson said. “When you get up there, nerves tend to take over, and you talk too fast.” 

Both coaches agree that the team does well with direct examinations and is ready for their next match.