CDS Team Competes in Judges' Cup Mock Trial Tournament

The annual Judges’ Cup was held in the court chambers of the Newmarket Courthouse the first week of May. CDS was among 24 York Region schools competing this year and went to trial on the first day of the tournament.

This is the largest tournament in the province and the only one to be heard by actual judges in a working courthouse. The cases are developed by the Ontario Justice Education Network and are tried by students in tournaments across the province. The experience is both nerve-wracking and exhilarating for the participants.

Our Mock Trial team has been rigorously preparing since December and had a full complement of 4 lawyers and 4 witnesses. The students prepared to present both the prosecution and defence sides of a criminal case, which this year was for Second Degree Murder where the defendant claimed self-defence. The planners plant all sorts of ‘seeds’ which, if argued properly, could sway a case one way or the other. The group had to quickly become experts on the components of self-defence, illegal handguns, and PTSD. The teams are given points for their legal argumentation and for how well they portrayed their roles as lawyers and witnesses. 

Although CDS played the role of the Crown in the first trial against Holy Cross, and then Defence against Pickering College in the second, we were not one of the four schools to advance to the finals. However, congratulations are in order for our longtime coach, Mr. Dave Downer, who received the Sholem Altman Award for ‘Fellowship and Excellence In Legal Education’ as a well-respected member of the organizing committee!

Our eight students who went to trial in the tournament were assisted by several student ‘law clerks’ from the Mock Trial team who helped with research and rehearsal. The group is grateful for the valuable advice and assistance provided by Christine Budweth-Mingay, a retired lawyer/judge and aunt of Olivia Budweth. 

This year’s team competitors were: Jessen Patel ‘24Kian Doust ‘24Olivia Budweth ‘25 (captain), Zak Khan ‘25Miranda Hong ‘25Mariella Tsiolis (captain) ‘26Ananya Kapur ‘26, and Mysha Kapelyukh ‘27. Coaches David Downer and Andrea Davidson are extremely proud of this group of legal eagles!

Land Acknowledgment

The Country Day School wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. Our nearest Indigenous Nations are now the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Chippewas of Georgina Island. The Dish with One Spoon Wampum covenant is often cited as an example of the shared responsibility for caring for these lands among the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples who would call these their traditional territories. CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection to this land can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for the land and waters for future generations.

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5 
(905) 833-1220

Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.