May 1, Law Day was recognized across the country. It is meant to encourage citizens to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.
For Law Day 2013, the Edwards†legal team†went to Branch Elementary School on base to put on a mock trial with the third grade students. The case of the mock trial was the Big Bad Wolf vs. Curly Pug.
In the trial, the students acted out the roles of the Big Bad Wolf, the last of the three little pigs (Curly Pig), the judge, attorneys, bailiff, and other witnesses.
They tried to convince the jury (all the students not assigned a role) that: 1, Curly Pig was trying to improperly injure the Big Bad Wolf, or 2, he was justified in protecting his home.
Throughout the trial the students learned about Opening Statements (the attorneys’ first chance to talk to the judge and jury about the case); Direct Examination (the witnesses telling their side of the story); Cross Examination (defense or prosecution ask the witnesses about their testimony); and Closing Statements (the concluding statement of each party).
In one of the classrooms the trial ended in a hung jury and we explained what happens when the jury cannot make a decision. At the end of the trial, the attorneys opened the floor up to the students to ask any questions they wanted about the law. Some questions included, “How do you get to be a part of a jury?” And, “What if the member found guilty wasn’t really guilty?”
In the end, the students had a great time participating in a mock trial and got a better understanding of how the court system works.