Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 19, 2021

Homelife 1’s Puhlman wins Third Best Attorney during mock trial competition

The Hamilton County Herald omitted one significant accomplishment from its March 5 high school mock trial story: Giada Puhlman of Homelife 1, a home school team in Chattanooga, secured Third Best Plaintiff Attorney for the Eastern Grand Division during the Tennessee Bar Association’s tournament Feb. 18-21.

Puhlman is a freshman who works with the homeless through St. Alban’s and St. Thaddaeus Episcopal churches.

Homelife 1 coach Chancellor Jeff Atherton says he was thrilled the scorers and judges recognized Puhlman’s excellent performances.

“Her teammates and family were probably more excited than she was, given her ‘others first’ character. From Giada, I suspect there was merely an ‘excited mutterance’ rather than the excited utterance issued by myself and others when her name was announced.”

Atherton says “excited mutterance” is an inside joke related to a Rule 803 Hearsay Exception.

“The objection response [claims] ... a statement was an excited utterance. Giada’s first attempt in practice to argue the exception was to assert that the statement was an excited ‘mutterance.’ It made me stop, think, chuckle and ultimately agree with her, as the involved statement wasn’t a scream or holler, but was actually an under-the-breath comment made in response to another party’s conduct.”