This trial must have been one of the best experiences I have ever had. The teamwork, the antagonism, the research and the knowledge were all elements that made this trial as successful as it was, but what made it brilliant was everyone’s passion.
My most major contribution was writing the cross-examination and the examination questions. I also cross-examined some of the hardest witnesses succesfully and challenged the prosecution at many cases. By the end of the trial and one hard defeat, I had learned that it wasn’t always about who had worked or researched the most. It was more about deceit and inside tricks to make the opponent fall. That fact brought victory to both winning teams. Overall though I will admit that I have never researched a person more deeply than I have Napoleon during this trial. I learned so much about him and the people that surrounded him, that I now feel as if I personally know him. During this trial, I actually found my passion deriving from the fact that I now somehow cared about Napoleon, I cared about him being charged, and I cared about the fact that I had the job of defending him.
The portfolio we had to complete was in my opinion a good way to force those that weren’t required to research Napoleon to actually do. It was a waste of valuable time for the lawyers even though it helped us in some cases to communicate important information to the trial officials. I personally did most of the work on the portfolio and I will admit that it stressed me out with no significant cause. The literary connections part of the portfolio though was extremely interesting and it intrigued me. The mind map we created helped me clarify the link between Napoleon’s leadership and the leaders of our society today. It was a very interesting and helpful project, and propably the best part of this portfolio.
Now that this trial has reached its end, I have to reflect back on it. There are actually very few things that I would ever change in this trial. Of course, as we lost, I would have to change some of my decisions. I made a ridiculous mistake at the very start of this project which actually cost us the trial. I signed a definition I hadn’t really read, and disapointed both my group and my witnesses. I would definitely change that decision, but apart from it I can’t find anything else my team and I did wrong. We worked hard, were very organized and came strong to the trial, delivering what I would think was a passionate performance. That one decision cost us the trial and that was the only decision I would ever like to take back.
Overall, as head lawyer, I believe that I satisfied my role. I made sure that all of my teamates had a chance to perform, took control whenever things strayed, and represented my team to the best of my abilities. I am most happy with my cross-examination performances, as I managed to prove wrong all of the witnesses I was assigned. I am also confident about my decisions during the actual trial, my objections and challenges to the opposite team, as well as my complaints to the judge. I am extremely proud of myself since I never believed I had this kind of passion in me, especially on stage, and even though we lost, it is my opinion that the defence team did exceptionally.
The verdict of the trial though is another discussion. As a part of the defence, it is expected from me to stress that Napoleon was clearly not guilty, but if I had to judge from a jury’s point of view, the opposite team’s performace deserved their victory. The tricks they used, including the honorable judge, were surprisingly clever and effective, and from the very start, we didn’t really stand a chance. They were excellent, but not because they managed to prove Napoleon guilty. What they achieved during this trial was to make my team look ridiculous, powerless and stupid, while using some of our weakest witnesses to support that. In my opinion their evidence was at no case better than ours, and I’ll even say that our questions were much stronger. The persecution truly owed their victory to their strong witnesses and sneaky tactics, as well as one very corrupted judge.
In conclusion, the persecution deserved their victory, even through unfair proceedings. Even with our loss though, I am extremely satisfied with my own performance and believe that this trial was an unforgettable experience. It reminds once more of why I love history so much.