Revere High School Mock Trial Team

Balsam El Alam, Staff Writer

Founded in the 2013-2014 school year, The Mock Trial Club at Revere High School
has served as a wonderful opportunity for students to experience what a law career is
really like. Founder, Natalie Khalatov, a teacher in the Revere Public Schools system,
says she started it [Mock Trial] because she had done Mock Trial in high school and
thought it was an awesome opportunity for kids. “I learned more about what the actual
practice of law was like and what it meant to enter a courtroom from mock trial than
from going to law school,” Natalie explains. “Law school was focused more on
case-law than courtroom procedure and the quick thinking it requires to answer
penitentiary objections in real-time,” she adds. Mock Trial allows students to get a
glimpse of a courtroom and its etiquette. Students are given a case to study and each
member of the team is assigned a role; either a witness role or an attorney role. When
competing, schools are either asked to play the plaintiff or the defense and go through
an entire case just like actual lawyers do. Both teams are evaluated based on each
person’s performance and the scores are totaled. The team with the higher score wins
the trial.


A unique part of being a member of the Revere Mock Trial team is the opportunity to
work with a local practicing lawyer, Daniel Occena. Daniel Occena specializes in Social
Security Disability, Family Law Issues, Bankruptcy Law, and personal injury. Originally
from New York, Daniel moved to Massachusetts for Law School and stayed ever since.
Natalie Khalatov Called the Mass Bar association, which runs the competition, and they
put her in touch with Daniel. Daniel Occena is very much invested and has really helped
the team throughout the years. Occena Law, P.C., Located on 349 Broadway, has
served as a meeting place for the team up until the 2015-2016 school year. The new
meeting spot for the Mock Trial practices is on Sundays at the Revere Police Station
where the whole team meets along with Natalie Khalatov, Laurie Scannell and Daniel
Occena. Laurie Scannell, an English teacher at RHS, organizes weekday meets in her
classroom to help the team prepare for trial. “The police station conveniently allowed the
team to use that space,” Natalie explains. The Mock Trial season has ended, and
Revere has won 2 out of their 3 trials; a loss against Matignon High School followed by
two victories against Chelsea High School and John Pope XXIII in Everett. Assuredly,
Mock Trial has opened up the doors for many students to the pre-practice of law all
while having fun at the same time.