Congratulations to the Murrieta Valley Mock Trial team of 2023, on its first ever win of the Riverside County championship, due in large part to MV's senior lead attorney on both prosecution and defense: Aleksandra Petrovski.
Riverside County has run the competition (as part of the Constitutional Rights Foundation state competition) for 26 years. In those years, there was a perennial winning team that won at one point 18 consecutive county titles and continues to have the same core coaching staff even now.
Murrieta Valley has been a perennial Elite 8 and sometimes Final Four and sometimes Final participant, but never before the county Champion until now in 2023.
Lead attorney on both Prosecution and Defense was Aleksandra Petrovski. Ms Petrovski was a Captain in both her junior and senior years after being a wonderful pretrial attorney in her sophomore year. Her junior year, she was both pretrial on one side and also trial attorney for the other. She gravitated to trial attorney for good reason: in her junior year she excelled at trial attorney work and won a county Gold medal in that role. This school year Ms. Petrovski then took her team to medal as one of the top eight teams in our first ever State competition this past weekend.
I'm an attorney coach for MVHS, and I have been coaching Murrieta Valley for 10 years. If I had to give a sound-byte on our team's progress, I would say, “The team can only progress so far as we the coaching staff learn to coach the ins and outs of mock trial, which is a whole different animal than practicing law in the real world. We learned a lot at State this weekend and enjoyed seeing our students like Allie go toe to toe with some of the best."
Allie helped us be able to grow to the State level by implementing all that we had to offer, for example:
*Impeaching every witness she cross-examined in every scrimmage, county round and now state Finals round.
*Understanding and articulating the rules and objections in the case packet, when demanded by the circumstances of the round.
*Mastering the county and state rulebooks and implementing those rules to win procedural battles. For example, Allie asked opposing counsel’s acquiescence in using an exhibit for opening statement, and when that agreement was not forthcoming, cited the Court to page and line of the State rules, based upon which the Court agreed the exhibit was usable during opening statement.
*Adjusting to actual events in the round and incorporating those events into the closing argument and rebuttal.
With scoring in from state, it’s notable that Murrieta Valley’s team split the ballots (i.e., one of the three scorers found MV’s team won the round on scoring) during their final round with the team that would become the State final champion. We on the coaching staff take that as an indicator of a new height to have leveled up to in our team's coaching and student learning and performance curves. And a huge leader and orchestrator of that success has been MV’s 2023 lead attorney, Aleksandra Petrovski. She has a mind for parsing words, facts, situations, rules and the law rarely seen in someone so young, as well as presence and the deft ability to control the witness by impeaching for the slightest substantive misstep, and adjusting the closing argument to account for events that happened live such as witnesses being impeached or facts proven or disproven.
On a personal note, I am even more impressed by Ms. Petrovski’s integrity and perseverance outside the courtroom. Every theory and argument run through her filter of whether it is logical, correct and right to make it into the materials. Her massive preparation with binders, notes, post-its, and specially bound case packets are part of the mystique. She is a true friend for her teammates to celebrate with and lean on. We're her biggest fans, and she is ours.
Cheers on finding my musings,
Lisa (Buchanan) Delzompo
UC Berkeley’s School of Law, ‘90
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