Once again, this year, the Carbondale Area Mock Trial team is competing in the Lackawanna County Bar Association’s annual mock trial competition. The event has taken place at both the county and federal courthouses in Scranton. Students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and compete against other area schools. This year’s case is a criminal case involving the opioid drug crisis. A doctor is on trial for prescribing a strong painkiller that interacted with another medication and led to the death of a patient. Carbondale has competed both as the defense and as the prosecution during the past several weeks. As of Thursday night, our mock trial team was told that it had won their first and second trial competitions and were headed to the semi-finals. They were told that they were one of four teams left in the competition with Abington Heights, Holy Cross, and North Pocono. They were told that they would take on Abington Heights next week.

In the first two trials, awards were given to student standouts.

Trial 1. Defense beat Dunmore. Jarred Rosar best advocate and Cora Heenan best witness.

Trial 2: Prosecution beat Honesdale. Kristina Gorel best advocate and Anna Allen best witness.

On Friday morning, I asked Kristina Gorel what she thinks of this year’s team and she responded, “It’s one of the strongest teams we have ever had. Our team is made up of mainly seniors with a lot of previous experience. I think our chances of winning the whole competition are good.”

Then in a rather strange turn of events, our school was informed late Friday afternoon while they were practicing afterschool for the upcoming semi-finals that the committee of judges had made a mistake and as a result, our team would not advance to the semi-finals, but Scranton Prep would instead. We had played Honesdale on Thursday night, but the mis-calculations had sent Prep and not Honesdale into the semi-finals. To say this was disappointing news is an understatement. The students were very charged up as is evidenced by Kristina’s quote after she thought they had won and advanced. It's difficult to say what is the right or wrong thing to do in a situation like this. The committee had awarded a victory to us. Then, because of their mistake, they took it away. Perhaps a face-off of some sort would have been a better solution. Nonetheless, we, at Carbondale Area are very proud of how well our students prepared and performed at the Mock Trial Competition. Many thanks to our teacher advisor, Mr. Carm Perri and our attorney advisors, Deb Rothenberg and John Martin.

Members of this year’s team are:

Seniors: Anna Allen, Calista Calabro, Kristina Gorel, Madison Hayner (captain), Madison Moase (captain), Kianna Savage, Kaitlyn Shockey (captain)

Juniors: Declan Caviston, Cora Heenan, Jarred Rosar

Freshmen: Alyssa Cosklo, Mia Perri

Teacher Coach is Mr. Carm Perri

Attorney Advisors are Deb Rothenberg and John Martin