Local News Update

The Trial of The Big Bad Wolf

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Field Experience to Brazoria County Courthouse

On February 17th, our Law mini-course had its own mock trial at the Brazoria County Courthouse. The case being argued was whether or not the Big Bad Wolf was guilty of the murder of Ann Pig, the destruction of her straw house, the murder of Bob Pig, and the destruction of his stick house; a total of four charges.

Articles written by our students :

As the Law Prevails

I spent my day in a room with eyes watching my every move, and ears hearing my every word. That nervous feeling in me was there throughout it all. I was trying my best, but I still worried that it wasn't enough. For those of you reading this article waiting to know who I am, well I'll tell you, I am a lawyer.

My day began in the courtroom with the honorable judge Iris presiding. I was for the defense, trying to protect my client the Big Bad Wolf. It was a peculiar case. The charges were the destruction of Ann's house, the murder of Ann, the destruction of Bob's house, and the murder of Bob. It's my job here to clean my client's slate and send him out on his way, but the prosecution is here to ruin the party. Their job is to try to prove that Mr. Big Bad actually did this stuff even though he is innocent. Things just got a little more complicated.

It took more than showing up in the courtroom to win this case. I was helped by two other lawyers to take on the prosecution. I also had to work behind the scenes to get my argument set up and to study up on what really happened on Saturday April 13. My client had gotten himself in a big problem. This is one of the hardest cases I have ever seen.

Then I realized one of the lawyers on my side didn't show up. Now it is two lawyers against three. This is just great. The case started out with the prosecution's opening statement. Also something else you should know, the prosecution goes first in everything. This is because the prosecution has the burden of proof. This is because in America you are innocent until proven guilty, so right now Mr. Big Bad is innocent.

After the prosecution did their opening statement we did ours. Later the prosecution got their seven witnesses, then recalled three of them again. Afterwards we called our five witnesses and had recalled three of ours. Then came the time for the closing statements. I was afraid that we were going to lose.

Then the jury deliberated. It took about an hour, and the final result was that the Big Bad Wolf was innocent for the destruction of Ann's house and the murder of Ann, but was guilty of the destruction of Bob's house and the murder of Bob. Well the case went somewhat good for me. Well at least I didn't lose (completely).

By: Vikram Evans (Lawyer for the Defense)

Proper Courtroom Attire

What do you think of when you think of a courthouse of trial? The judge, a gavel, criminals ,or lawyers? Do you ever think of a suit and tie, a blazer or slacks? If you didn't before maybe you should now, because dressing the part is just as important as winning the case.

When at trial, dressing formally or nicely can help you with winning the case . When you dress nicely more people are more likely to believe you when you're testifying, or cross or direct examining. For example, if a witness is dressed in muddy tennis shoes and a t- shirt, people are not likely to believe you versus a man with a slick haircut, nice shoes which most likely people will believe when he might as well be lying . Studies show that citizens who are dressed nicely are more believable, which gives them an advantage for winning the case.

In conclusion, people that are dressed nicely are more believable. So remember if you want to do well in court dressing nicely is key to success. So ditch the sneakers for nice dress shoes or try a blazer or a nice dress instead of a t-shirt.

By: Cydney Gibson (Lawyer for the Prosecution)

The Truth Behind the Courtroom

Court is very different from most peoples’ imaginations. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know anything about court or even a courtroom, myself included. In my head, the courtroom is grand and imposing, with a high ceiling, a balcony, dozens of rows of chairs, and an enormous witness stand. I thought that the judge’s table would be a gigantic desk and a kind of miniature office. Instead, the courtroom was shockingly small, yet cozy, with a low ceiling, no balcony, and maybe three rows of a dozen chairs. The judge’s table lived up to my thoughts, though. It radiated authority and had an American eagle on it. The whole building also had a patriotic vibe to it, it had the American and Texan flag plastered on the walls everywhere you looked. The residing judge also seemed extremely loyal to Pearland as well, and it looked as though the judge had an obsession with glass pears. Besides the judge’s table, everything else was much tinier than expected. Being in an actual city courtroom made me realize how different the courtroom is from TV law shows and books.

Aside from the courtroom itself, the actual court process is much different. First of all, lots of people don’t understand that there are more types of court cases than criminal. There are civil cases, like someone getting sued if your neighbor’s dog dug a hole in your fence. And even in criminal cases, there aren’t any surprise witnesses, dramatic confessions, briberies (for the most part). Although, court is very stressful. I was extremely nervous, and if that was a mock trial, I’m never being a witness in actual court (Although I wouldn’t have much of a choice, would I?). In conclusion I think that we all imagine court very different from what it actually is, whether that’s influenced by books, TV shows, or…audio books.

By: Isaac Fernandezlopez (Witness Fluff the Lamb)

Can I get a Witness on the Stand?

A witness is a person in court that can help the lawyers prove the defendant guilty or innocent. I am a witness. It is a cool role but it's also pressuring and scary.

Before we got on the bus and throughout the bus ride, I felt relaxed but a bit nervous, like if you were driving to a big performance. I forgot about the trial because I was talking to my friend. After a millisecond (or what felt like a millisecond) we were there. Once we got seated and the trial begun, I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders. The trial was about the Big Bad Wolf. He was charged with the destruction of Ann's and Bob's house plus, murdering Ann and Bob.

After waiting a long time, I got called by the defense lawyers to the witness box. Even though my legs were shaking and my body was trembling, I still somehow walked to the stand. After I got sworn in by the bailiff, I slowly sat down thinking, "What is going to happen?" "What if I mess up?" One of the lawyers walked up to me and asked me a few questions. I thought I did horrible because I kept on hesitating. After the defense lawyer finished, I thought, "Yay, I'm done. WAIT, the prosecution still has to ask me questions. Noooo!" The prosecution lawyer came up to me and asked me a few more questions. After that, I was so relieved that I was done. It was tough. I sat down and relaxed for the rest of the trial.

Begin a witness is fun. The witnesses play a huge role in a trial. This was my experience being a witness for the Trial of the Big Bad Wolf.

By: David Ding (Witness: Dr. Bear)

The Verdict of the Trial

By the time the field trip was over and it was time to go back to school, the jury was still not done deliberating. That means that they had not yet reached a verdict. However, the jury continued during mini - course time and reached a conclusion. After careful thinking and contemplating what they heard during the trial, consulting their notes, and a bit of arguing among themselves, the jury decided the Big Bad Wolf is guilty on 2 of the 4 charges.

Bailiffs: The Brains and Brawn

The criminal case is coming up and we know who the defendant is, we know the judge, the lawyers, and maybe a few of the witnesses, but do we really know the bailiff? When you see a court house do you really think about the bailiff, or do you only think of TV show drama such as people yelling "Objection!" and criminals pleading to be set free? I got a chance to actually meet the bailiff and see what it's really like to be one.

A bailiff is a type of police officer that maintains order in the court. Bailiffs can also be called peace officers. Their job can be different depending on where they are and what court they work in. The job of a bailiff came into use as early as the medieval times. If you want to be a bailiff you need to complete high school and you at least need a high school diploma. Although bailiffs work in courts, they can also be in public sections when escorting jurors and guarding them at hotels

When I first met Frida I thought she was just going to be a bailiff who restrains people from running around crazy. But it turns out she loves her job. She enjoys watching "justice being served"! She commented that children should not, in fact, have to go testify as a witness. She believes they should be free to play outside instead of being stuck in a courthouse. She strongly believes that women could do anything a man can. That’s why she loves her job. If people don’t approve of her because she's a girl then she said she would like them to watch Zootopia. (In the Disney animated film, because the rabbit proves someone different can do the same thing as others.

Bailiffs are not just silent officers standing in a courtroom by the judge’s bench. They are people just like you and me. So next time you see a bailiff don’t just assume what they are like. You need to meet a bailiff to know a bailiff.

Fernanda (Witness Slither the Snake)

Behind the Stand

When I walked into the room, I didn’t know what to expect. I had pictured an enormous chamber with an imposing judge's bench, and vast, grand audience seating. Instead, there was a medium-sized room with a small judge's bench with what seemed like fifty pear themed artworks surrounding the bench. And for the audience, interlocking, if a bit well-worn, chairs. Metal backing and legs, with blue and gray fabric over a padded seat, the kind of chairs you'd walk by every day without a second thought.

I was not shocked, more like mildly surprised. Once I got over the size, I began to notice other things. Such as the American and Texan flags, both framed on the wall and standing behind the judge's bench. The jury bench is lower than the judge's bench. Everything is lower than the judge's bench, to symbolize the power of the judge in the courtroom. All of the pear-themed items contained everything from sculptures to a plate with a pear on it. To represent Pearland, I believe. Whatever it was meant to represent, it reminded me of one of those collections you would see in the world record book. Maybe not as big, but still extensive.

It took a long time for me to be called to the stand, because the prosecution calls their witnesses first, and also because I was fifth in line. But once I was, it seemed easier than I had imagined. I think that I did a good job. I didn’t stutter or pause once. Our judge, on the other hand, didn’t do so great a job. At times, it seemed she had forgotten what to say, and we had to ask her to speak up! It was slightly entertaining, but also a slightly serious, because if we couldn't hear the judge, and she told us to step down from the stand, we wouldn't be able to hear her.

Now, for the verdict, which I'm sure you're all just positively itching to hear it, so here it is. Drum Roll, please *drum sounds*. The verdict was... not guilty of one count of murder and one count of house destruction, and guilty of one count of murder and one count of house destruction! He was sentenced to a camp to learn to be less greedy and meditation to control his breathing.

By: Natalie (The Big Green Wolf)