DBU Mock Trial Team Celebrates First Contest, Luke Castle Recognized with Outstanding Attorney Award

Luke Castle

"Mock Trial teaches a lot about law and how to act in a courtroom, but it truly goes beyond that. It makes you think in ways you've never thought of before, teaches you how to act quickly on your feet, and forces you to be able to adapt to change in the moment. You not only learn how to perform as an attorney, but also how to create solid content while doing so." (Luke Castle, DBU Mock Trial Team Co-Captain)

Last month, the Dallas Baptist University Mock Trial Team competed in their first Mock Trial Competition of the season. At the contest, the team earned an overall 4-4 score in a highly competitive tournament and freshman Luke Castle brought home an Outstanding Attorney Award, which was exclusively awarded to the top 10 attorneys from the competition as a whole.

This year's Mock Trial team consists of Jess Perez (freshman studying Broadcast and Digital Media, Attorney and Co-Captain), Luke Castle (freshman studying Finance, Attorney and Co-Captain), Matthew Demchak (senior studying Criminal Justice and Political Science, Attorney), Madison Kitner (junior studying Political Science, Attorney), EmmaRose Gregory (junior studying Health Sciences, Attorney), Gregory Self (freshman studying Commercial Art, Witness), and Zachery Kos (freshman studying Entrepreneurship, Witness).

"There are many diverse majors and classes represented on our team. We have created a supportive environment where, even after a long, stressful day, we all congratulate one another and are grateful to be on the team together," Luke says. "This team is able to adapt quickly to change. There were a number of times at the contest where things could have gone downhill quickly, but they didn't. Each individual member knows how and when to step up when the team is in trouble."

There is an immense amount of planning that goes into preparing for a Mock Trial, and each member of the team plays a vital role in the process. The team spends weeks going over case content, writing out direct and cross-examination questions, going through witness performances, and merging together their collective case. The collaborative effort of each uniquely gifted member brings a case to life, resulting in a case that everyone can be proud of.

"There are plenty of things that go into a trial: content, objections, case theories, and random housekeeping matters," Luke shares. "It requires everyone to really focus in and often warrants time spent outside of practice to work on each of our individual jobs."

As Luke previously mentioned, Mock Trials give students hands-on opportunities to practice what simply cannot be learned from reading a textbook. Mock Trials are a test of wit, compromise, and intense focus.

"It's easy to get caught up in what you think is best versus what the team should actually do. You learn how to listen to others and meet them somewhere in the middle. Contests create a collaborative environment where you may have to work alongside individuals you may not have ever even met before," Luke explains. "Most importantly, you learn how to work with other people who are all extremely talented and each have a voice that needs to be heard."

DBU is proud of all the hard work and effort the Patriot Mock Trial Team has put forth and is excited to watch this team grow and see all they will accomplish in the future.

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications Department at Dallas Baptist University.