BSM Mock Trial Team Competes at State Tournament

BSM Mock Trial Team Competes at State Tournament

The BSM varsity mock trial team was one of sixteen teams to compete at State March 3-4, 2021 and placed 8th! This was the Red Knight’s third State appearance in the last four years. The annual tournament, which was conducted entirely virtual, was hosted by the Minnesota State Bar Association. This year, the BSM team was the Region Sixteen winner representing the Hennepin County Super Region.

The case, Payton Knox v. Nixon Lodge Catering, Inc., revolved around contract law and whether an event venue in Hibbing, MN, provided reasonable accommodations for a wedding in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to a claim by the plaintiff in this case, there was also a counterclaim made by the defendant as to whether Payton Knox broke the contract. The addition of the counterclaim made the case more difficult to argue as both sides had to present their views clearly showing a “preponderance of the evidence.”

Red Knights had the opportunity to represent both the defense and plaintiff throughout three rounds, and the team assumed the roles of witnesses and attorneys magnificently. During the state tournament, the first round is selected by a coin toss and a random pairing; however, the second and third rounds are power-ranked by the MSBA based on win-loss, point differentials, and ballots won.

Students who represented BSM at the state tournament include:

(Captains): Luke Broglio ‘21 and  Andrew Forby ‘21, (Members): Ernesto Ríos-Díaz ‘21, Suzanne Haakonson ‘22, Teigan Blaine ‘23, Francesca Lichtenberger ‘23, Parker Morgan ‘23, Jillian Petty ‘23, Emily Walsh ‘24.

Coaches: Deena Duffy, Bob Huber, Dan Murray, Mary Murray

Red Knights went head-to-head with Luverne High School in Round One, Eden Prairie High School in Round Two, and Buffalo High School in Round Three. The team won a total of five out of the nine possible ballots and went 2-1 at the state tournament. During the season, the team went undefeated facing teams from Lakeville South, Prior Lake, Southwest, and Wayzata. 

"The team came together brilliantly this year after the loss of eight seniors on last year's 2019-2020 team. In addition to adjusting to many graduates, the members had to learn how to navigate virtual Zoom practices, scrimmages, and competitions and a very challenging case. There were numerous case changes and clarifications this season, too, which kept the students on their toes," says Coach Mary Murray.

Congratulations to Suzy Haakonson ‘22 for being recognized as an All-State Attorney and to Jillian Petty ‘23 for being recognized as an All-State Witness. 

As the Honorable Judge William Fisher stated at the end of the third round, “You should all be very proud. You are all very impressive.” Congratulations to the team; we are #BSMproud of everything you accomplished this season!