Photo: Tennessee Bar Association

Another competitive season has come to a close in the district, as Farragut High School’s Mock Trial team placed tenth at the state competition last month. 

Samantha Garner, a senior and the Mock Trial captain, led the team to several state and district competitions during her time at FHS.

Her passion for Mock Trial began years ago when she was in 5th grade, and her brother participated with his high school team. Ever since she watched him compete, she has been looking forward to her chance to plead her case to the court. 

Mock Trial is organized by the Tennessee Bar Association, which creates a unique case every year with different scenarios, witnesses, and experts. The team hosts auditions in November when the case is released to place its members into their roles.

“We take people who are interested in public speaking, law, acting, theater, forensics, and criminal justice. Just so many different people,” Garner said.

Garner, who is interested in becoming a lawyer in the future, was placed as the District Attorney and met with her team over the next few months to discuss the details of the case.

“It’s so cool because you get so close to your teammates over Mock Trial season. You get to work with your teammates over developing your character,” she said. “We get very passionate, so you’re like, should I cry on the stand? Or should I scream, ‘It was her!’ and point to her dramatically?” 

Senior and FHS Team MVP Rani Patel joined the team last year to support her friend, Garner, in rebuilding their team. 

She said she initially had no interest in law, but once she joined, “I absolutely fell in love with it. That’s actually one of the reasons that I want to go into law. Mock Trial has been an eye-opener for me.”

Farragut’s team is sponsored by teacher Christopher Hampton and is coached by two practicing lawyers, Wesley Eke and Jeff Arms. These lawyers teach the students the legalities of the courtroom and different necessary procedures and help them form their arguments for the competitions. 

As the seniors prepare to pass their team on to the next group of Admirals, they know this season is not their last with Mock Trial, as they hope to one day return as coaches for a new generation of Mock Trial competitors.

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