MHS wins mock trial anew
The Marianas High School mock trial team successfully defended their crown as champions in the return of the annual mock trial competition at the Guma’ Hustisia held over two days from Thursday, Feb. 16, to Friday, Feb. 17.
Their win gives the Dolphins to right to represent the CNMI at the National Mock Trial Competition in Little Rock, Arkansas from May 18 to 20, 2023.
Second place went to Saipan Southern High School and third place went to Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr.-Sr. High School.
Present during the awards ceremony last Friday in the Guma’ Hustisia’s atrium were students and coaches from MHS, Saipan Southern High School, Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr.-Sr. High School, Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona, CNMI Supreme Court Associate Justice John A. Manglona, CNMI Supreme Court Associate Justice Perry B. Inos, Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho, Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja, and U.S. District Court magistrate judge Heather L. Kennedy
For the individual awards, MHS senior Mylan Goodwin bagged two wins as the best prosecution attorney and best defense attorney. She said after the competition that she was not expecting to win both categories and gave all the credit to her coaches and teammate Anastasia Shamanaeva, who has done mock trials with her for a long time.
MHS students Conall Hartig won best prosecution witness, while Jane Mozunder won best defense witness.
The defense witness’ honorable mention went to Jessie Lyn Reyes from SSHS.
The defense attorney’s honorable mention went to Ye Zhi Sablan from SSHS.
The prosecution witness’ honorable mention went to Jia Ross Nicdao from MHS.
The prosecution attorney’s honorable mention went to Aden Calvo from Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr.-Sr. High School.
Along with Goodwin, Hartig, Nicdao, and Mozunder, the other MHS student participants were Hayden Igisomar, Hannah Lim, Prapti Mondal, Sienna Morgan, Anastasia Shamanaeva, and Kelly Zheng.
Aside from Calvo, the other Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr.-Sr. High School student participants were Zayden Atalig, Rianna Barcinas, Alwayn Bermeo, Carlos Calvo, Jelina Calvo, Bernice Feolino, Elmer Guiang, Lovelee Jingco, Eianne Ladao, Son Joe Manuel, and Sayera Sidur.
Their teacher-coaches were Joycelynn Atalig and Charlene Manglona while their attorney-coaches were Oliver Manglona and Charity Hodson.
The SSHS student participants, along with Sablan and Reyes, were Judy Andebor, Aisha Lansangan, Jing Lin, Shamira Sulyman, and Andrew Sunderland.
Their teacher-coaches were Paul and Dora Miura while their attorney-coaches were Jose Mafnas Jr. and Janina Maratita.
This year’s topic was the hypothetical theft of parts of the historic Japanese World War II tank on Beach Road. Students took turns acting as attorneys and witnesses for the prosecution and for the defense. Judges and justices of the local and federal courts presided and volunteer members of the NMI Bar Association sat as jurors.
Before the award presentations, Ada said in his remarks “These past two days, we have witnessed their hard work, determination, and advanced knowledge and skills in the legal system. Students, I am so proud of the ethics, discipline, and expertise you have displayed. Continue to shine in the work that you do, and give yourselves the credit you deserve for going above and beyond normal expectations.”
MHS won the 2020 and 2019 competitions, while the 2021 and 2022 competitions were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mock trial program, now in its 25th year, is sponsored by the CNMI Judiciary, the CNMI Public School System, the CNMI Bar Association, and the Northern Marianas Judiciary Historical Society.
First held in 1999, the annual competition is sponsored by the CNMI judiciary, the Public School System, the NMI Bar Association, and the Northern Marianas Judiciary Historical Society.