By Andrea Pleimling Smith
Many attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz participated in Mock Trial competitions while in school. The benefit was learning how to present convincing arguments and put a case together. Also, these and other competitions allow participants to get comfortable speaking in front of others.
Now we stay involved in these competitions as judges, organizers and sponsors. I enjoy seeing students excited and prepared for the competition. The virtual 2021 Lee County Bar Association (LCBA) Mock Trial competition took place in February. For the competition, the firm sponsored the Best Plaintiff Attorney Award.
Mock Trial Competition Best Plaintiff Attorney
Daniel Zhang, a junior at Canterbury School of Fort Myers, won the best plaintiff attorney, receiving a plaque and a $200 check. Zhang said he joined the Mock Trial team spontaneously as a sophomore. This year, he decided to compete again. Because of the pandemic, the competition was small, with only four schools participating. The Canterbury team received second place.
Although Zhang said a career in law was not his goal, involvement in the Mock Trial has increased his interest.
To prepare, each team receives a case packet several months in advance. The team prepares prosecution and defense cases, including preparing witnesses.
“The entire team excelled,” Zhang said. “The team organized the case and brought it to life as accurately and effectively as possible.”
As a result, Zhang said the experience helped him present himself in a composed and calm way when faced with something unexpected. He has also participated in the school’s Model United Nations team.
“It’s fun and very satisfying to see the hard work and preparation come together,” he said.
“Our team put forward the best performance that I have ever seen in the 12 years during which I have sponsored this program,” said Ian Cross, Canterbury School team’s sponsor. “They worked very hard, and I am truly proud of them.” Click here to see our other community involvement