By Arielle Follett
A team of six paralegal students won the Paralegal Mock Trial Cup hosted by Durham College at the Oshawa Court House on March 8.
The team, made up of two first-year students and four second-years, had to prepare a presentation for a client in a contract case.
“The case is one of those things that often happen in real life where two friends make a deal and one doesn’t quite get what they thought they would,” said program co-ordinator Adriana Mello.
The students had to be prepared to take on any role in the case on either the plaintiff or the defendant’s side. They were told what side they would be arguing for and what individual role they would take on the day of the competition.
They then presented their case in front of real judges and justices of the peace.
“It’s really wonderful for the second-year students because it’s their last chance to practice their advocacy,” said Mello.
“We only had just over a month to practice so I was really nervous,” said second-year student Jessica Novini. “I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
David Elliot, one of the second-year students, won the award for the best advocate of the competition as well.
“We’ve all devoted so much time and it’s been incredible,” he said. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help from our teachers.”
Part-time professors Joseph Griffiths and Sean Bawden work as lawyers outside of the college and were able to mentor the team.
“They stood out against the other colleges,” said Bawden. “They did an excellent job.”
James Baker, a second-year student, was very happy with the team’s results.
“To me, we had already won, it (was) just a matter of going through the motions,” he said. “We have the right support system. It (was) pretty exciting.”