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Fine Arts Student of the Week: Sophomore is a 'born leader' playing a defense lawyer

Adviser nomination: "Noah Joque is a defense lawyer on this year's mock trial team. He is extraordinary at picking apart the case and finding nuggets he can use to bolster his case. He is a co-captain of the team this year, and he is a born leade...

Brainerd High School sophomore Noah Joque poses in front of the high school. Joque was nominated as this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week for his work in mock trial. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd High School sophomore Noah Joque poses in front of the high school. Joque was nominated as this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week for his work in mock trial. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch

 

Adviser nomination: "Noah Joque is a defense lawyer on this year's mock trial team. He is extraordinary at picking apart the case and finding nuggets he can use to bolster his case. He is a co-captain of the team this year, and he is a born leader. Noah embraces challenges and always says yes when he is asked to do something extra. When there were a couple of problems this year, he took the bull by the horns and found a solution. As a lawyer he is tenacious. I would not want to be on the stand with Noah doing a cross examination ... he really shows a witnesses weak spots. This is his second year in mock trial, and I can't wait to watch him perform next year."

Other fine arts activities: Debate, Jazz Ensemble I and Wind Symphony.

Artist most admired: BHS band director Christopher Fogderud.

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Noah Joque

  • Grade: Sophomore.
  • Age: 15.
  • Art focus: Brainerd High School mock trial.

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Memorable fine arts achievement: Receiving a perfect score of 40 at the Minnesota State High School League's solo and ensemble contest this year performing on trumpet in band. In mock trial, his most memorable achievement is earning a perfect score at a trial last year where he had to learn how to play a witness in one week instead of a lawyer.

What interested you in joining mock trial? "I joined mock trial in ninth grade. In eighth grade my other friends were going to join, so I just did it and it went from there. A lot of it was the team and all the time we spent on the trials and the time we spent on the bus, I got close with a lot of the team members and we became close friends. And then just the process in preparing for trial is really fun."

What do you like about playing a defense lawyer? "(Adviser Jan) Carlson asked me what I was interested in when I first joined and I said a lawyer because I already had been in debate for two years since seventh grade and she thought I would be a good fit. It then went from there. I was defense lawyer last year and the only reason why I am defense this year is because we basically flip for it on who would play which part.

"I think it's fun because I like picking apart a lot the prosecution's case. I feel with the prosecution, you are attacking another person's credibility to build up your own story. Whereas with the defense you are building up your witness' story. I find this takes a back seat and you're using that to pick apart all the avenues of attack with the plaintiff. ... I find it really fun."

Your strongest skill in mock trial: "I think it's reading all the documents really closely and finding just the little things that the other teams won't expect that are really valuable and give us a good advantage. This year, for example, our case was about defamation. I was defending the newspaper writer and reading the article I found out they didn't make any actual accusations on bribery, which the defamation was about. I used that as the main thing of the case in saying defamation never happened."

What type of problems did you solve this season? "A big one was in the middle of the season when they (the Minnesota State Bar Association. which runs the program) revised the case. ... There were some revisions to the case that were a lot more favorable to the plaintiff. I really had to work through that. I had to scrap my entire closing argument and rewrite a lot of my questions to fit and make a whole new set of points around that."

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Is this something you'd like to do as a career? "I don't know. I haven't started thinking about careers so much. It's something I have been putting aside until this summer. I think it (a lawyer) is an option. Mock trial is something I will keep doing, but I just don't know if I want to make it my career."

Debate and mock trial similarities: "In debate and mock trial-a lot of it-is just making arguments, especially when I do the closing argument, which basically decides the case. And in debate, all the time I spend on writing cases and arguments, really improved my persuasive writing skills and my writing in general. It also allows me to have a better understanding and allows me to engage in discussion and exchange ideas more.

"I can argue a lot more with my parents. There are a lot of households where the parent is basically an absolutist, like their word is law. I can win arguments with my parents fairly consistently."

Dream job: "I really do not have a dream job. A couple of fields I'm looking includes music, especially since recently there has been so much going on in band, especially after our jazz tour to New Orleans. Listening to the music I heard there is pushing me a little that way, but I'm not sure yet."

Highlight of spring break trip in New Orleans: "When we watched the Preservation Hall Jazz Band play. All the musicians really knew their instrument well and just the way the brass players play their instruments ... I find that really impressive."

Music is a big part of your life: "Music is really exhilarating, just like the tactile feeling of playing a lot of this stuff. In general throughout your body, in your air and ... and your fingers and it's a similar thing when I play the guitar. I really like all the motions that come with music and all the stuff you get there. There are a lot of reasons why I play the trumpet and it specifically has so many styles you can play on it like classical music, jazz, rock stuff and all sorts of music. I also like all the different sounds you can do with it."

Favorite subject: History.

Last movie you saw in theater: "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World."

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Favorite TV show: "Gotham."

Favorite book: "The Name of the Wind."

Perfect meal: "Can I say, ice cream and cookies? It would be perfect if I could have chocolate cookie dough ice cream or vanilla with lots of strawberry sauce, with a Montmorency cherry; and a chocolate chip cookie."

Sports/clubs: "I joined tennis in eighth grade. I first joined because I wanted to do something in the spring and my friends are in it. But now that I'm in it, it's exhilarating and fun and I enjoy it."

Hobbies: Downhill skiing and playing the guitar.

Biggest pet peeve: "Posters talking about statistics because everything is a statistic. And general manners of people who feel inconvenienced on small things ... like they forgot to take out the trash and then get angry at other people."

Parents: Laura Joque and Simon Joque of Brainerd.

Related Topics: BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL
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