LOS ANGELES—Students at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School celebrated as the Pilibos mock trial team advanced to the playoff round of the Los Angeles County Mock Trial competition.
The competition began with 92 schools from all over Los Angeles County: public and private, large and small, magnet and charter schools. All schools competed in rounds one and two; one round for the prosecution side, one round for the defense side. For round three, the competition narrowed to 16 schools. Six schools had high enough scores to automatically qualify for the next round, and Pilibos was one of the schools in the playoffs.
Each school argued the same case, prepared by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. This year the defendant was accused of second degree murder and possession with intent to sell a controlled substance. Each school presented both the defense and prosecution side of the case, including an opening and closing statement, questioning of witnesses, and a pretrial argument on a constitutional issue.
The Pilibos prosecution team attorneys were Aram Manoukian, Lily Dermendjian, Angelica Gevoglanian, and Narek Koucherian. The prosecution witnesses were Ervand Gevoglanian, Hrach Hamzoian, Michelle Dayan, and Yelena Malkhasyan. Arpi Beshlikyan served as the clerk, who is the official timekeeper for the competition.
The defense team attorneys were Rita Kelechian, Davit Arabyan, Kevin Koseyan, and Angel Darbinian. The defense witnesses were Sevag Keossian, Haik Geozalian, Ani Nalbandian, and Talar Hovhannisian. Armine Kalbakian served as the bailiff.
Haik Geozalian won an Outstanding Witness award for his portrayal of Dr. Casey Burke. Haig won this award out of the 92 schools participating in the mock trial. In addition to Haik’s Outstanding Witness award, several other students received Honorable Mention certificates for their performances. Armine Kalbakian received Honorable Mention for her work as the bailiff. Hrach Hamzoian received Honorable Mention for his performance as a witness. Davit Asatryan earned Honorable Mention for his work as a defense attorney, and Narek Koucherian and Angelica Gevoglanian for their work as prosecution attorneys. Aram Manoukian received Honorable Mention for his performance as a pretrial attorney.
“I am very proud of all of our students and their amazing achievements,” said Dr. Alina Dorian, principal of Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School. “Their dedication and hard work paid off, and they are a shining example of what can happen when you dare to be and do your best.”
Dr. Dorian continued, “I would also like to thank Mr. Gary Daglian, of the Daglian Law Group, for volunteering his time to assist the students with various legal questions. His help and encouragement was invaluable as they prepared for the case. Gary is also one of our alumni, and we are always so proud and happy to see that so many of our alumni are involved in giving back to Pilibos.”