Mock Trial

Mock Trial

MBA Mock Trial

Since high school Mock Trial competitions began in Nashville in 1983, MBA has been actively involved, winning 19 City and six State Championships and placing at the National Finals, including a Third Place finish in 2023. For over twenty-five years, MBA alumnus Mr. Wade Cowan, a local attorney, has directed our program.

What is Mock Trial?

Participating schools take a hypothetical case supplied each year by the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association and try it against one another after learning the simplified rules of evidence upon which the competition is based. Students and coaches determine who will take the various roles (attorneys, witnesses) involved in the particular case. Additionally, students will learn how to “play” witness roles, and the attorneys will learn how to analyze the case and develop the theory of the case (either civil or criminal), direct and cross examination techniques, opening and closings. Coaches will aid in providing knowledge from their own experiences in court and directing students in acquiring requisite information for maximum effectiveness such as dress, deportment in the courtroom, treatment of opponents, as well as making objections and application of the rules of evidence.


In mid to late November, all Tennessee schools will receive information packets containing this year’s hypothetical case, the simplified rules of evidence, and the applicable Statutes. MBA also participates in an independent mock trial competition, the Empire competition, in the fall. The team begins preparing for the Empire competition during the summer.


Except for the final days before the regional competition, practices will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:00pm and Saturdays at 10:00am in the Justice Frank Drowota ('56) Mock Trial Room in the Wilson Library.

Mock Trial is open to students in grades 9-12.

Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. What is the time commitment? In the beginning, the team practices 2-3 times per week with additional time dedicated for working with student attorneys.
  2. How many students are on a team? MBA usually fields three or four teams for the Davidson County competition each February. Each team consists of 6-12 students.
  3. When is the citywide competition held? While no specific dates have been released yet, it is usually in February with the state finals in March. (These dates will be announced at the time the packets arrive or when available.)
  4. What MBA teacher acts as the coordinator with Wade Cowan? Mr. Stewart.
  5. How can I see if I would like being on Mock Trial and when may I ask questions? Come to the organizational meeting when it is announced, or speak with Mr. Stewart about the program.
    • Matthew Kaplan argues his case at the Gladiator 1-on-1 World Championships in California

    • Senior Isaac Wills wins best plaintiff witness in 2018 Davidson Co competition

    • Andrew Kaplan makes his closing argument in the 2017 state championship

Montgomery Bell Academy

4001 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 298-5514