Mock Trial wins state and finishes third at nationals


The Southerner

By Max Nevins

On March 4, the Mock Trial team placed first at the Georgia High School Mock Trial State Finals Competition, Grady’s seventh win in the team’s history. Grady’s placement qualified the team to represent Georgia in the national tournament in Hartford, CT from May 10-14.

“We went to state last year and finished third, so the goal was to improve this year and try to win it all,” sophomore Robert Mobley said. “Winning was kind of like a bit of weight off of our shoulders because past Grady teams have had a lot of success at the state and national level, and we wanted to bring ourselves back to that stage, and we did.”

The Mock Trial team prepares a fictional court case and competes directly against other schools. In order to get to the state competition, the team placed first in the Region competition, qualifying them for the District competition, in which they also placed first. Grady participated in three rounds, including the final championship against The Westminster Schools.

Sophomore Audrey Dwyer and Mobley won awards for “Outstanding Witness” and seniors Chase Kleber and Orly Mansbach won awards for “Outstanding Attorney.” During the competition, the team looked for an advantage that could give them the upperhand.

“We spent most of our time looking for details that other teams wouldn’t recognize,” Dwyer said. “Instead of using the basic evidence, we looked for hidden pieces that no one would be expecting.”

Carl Gebo has been coaching the team for over twenty years and as a practicing lawyer, his guidance gives real-world experience towards his team.

He’s the program in every sense of the word. Grady Mock Trial is nothing without him,” Grady Mock Trial parent Nancy Habif said. “There’s a distinct method he uses to get these students to be the best they can be. Of course, that in and of itself, sets the stage for the rest of their lives.”

This is the first time Grady Mock Trial won state in five years, making it Gebo’s seventh team to win.

“[I am most proud of] the team being honored with the Annual Professionalism Award,” Gebo said. “All of the competing teams vote on that award, which means that Grady’s opponents found the Grady Mock Trial Team to exemplify respect, dignity, and sportsmanship worthy of honor among their peers.”

Building off of their momentum, the team is now preparing for nationals where they will compete against 49 teams, each representing their state, and hope to have success.

“I expect us to do well. We have a short amount of time to build a theory, develop witnesses, and polish the case, so it will be a lot of work but I think we can do it,” Dwyer said. “Grady has never won a national title, so this is a great opportunity.”

The team went on to finish in third place at the nationals competition. This was one of the best placings the team has ever received. mock trial team lead