February 13, 2014

Mock Trial: Students Advance to Regional Competition

More than 3,000 high school students in 29 counties participated in the 31st Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition. The Franklin County competition, organized by Judge James Green, Lydia Arko, Mahjabeen Qadir and the Columbus Bar, was held at the Franklin County Municipal Court with 27 teams participating.

The following teams won both trials and will advance to Regional Competition on February 21: Dublin Jerome Team Cereal Killers, Dublin Jerome Team Cheerios, Dublin Jerome Team Cookie Crisp, Upper Arlington Team Sotomayor, West Jefferson Team Brown, West Jefferson Team Gold, Westerville North Team Concord, Westerville North Team Orwell, and Westerville North Team Holmes.

Each team consists of five to eleven students who prepare both plaintiff and defense cases and participate in two trials against opposing teams. Students assume the roles of witnesses and attorneys to present both sides of an original case based on a constitutional issue.

Local judges and attorneys volunteer their time and expertise to preside over and score the mock trials. Volunteers for Franklin County included: Rick T. Malone, Richard Appleton, Beth Ann Hullinger, Amanda Bunner, Yuri Venters, Ted Cahill, Doug Holthus, Jason Deschler, Jennifer Halas, Bob Hart, Josh Kimsey, Nicole Koppitch, John Kopf, Andrew Clark, Patria Hoskins, William Geary, Matt Pritchard, Christina Haselberger, Bill Woods, Ken Thien, Gwen Callender, Tom Lindsey, Judith Goldstein, Jonathan Tewart, Duffy Jamieson, Alison Terrell, Zachary Schaengold, Stephanie Hanna, Nate Jackson, Caitlyn Nestleroth, Maria Guthrie, Kaila Krausz, Dan Huston, Monica Dorman, Paul Russell, Marc Davis, Sharon Hanrahan, Latawnda Moore, Anthony Mancuso, Jonathan Fulkerson, Naveen Ramprasad, Marcie Fronefield, Sandy Lynskey , Reid Caryer , Paul Cox, Kristi Lindner , Sally Smetzer , Melissa Szozda, Lynanne Wolf, Paul Scott, Brian Laliberte, Stuart Cole, John Palmer and Tammi Osler.

“In addition to teaching students how the U.S. Constitution is relevant to their lives,” said OCLRE Executive Director Lisa Eschleman, “mock trial provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn and practice analytic and research skills. Presenting a trial before a panel of judges and attorneys is an authentic and unique experience they will carry with them throughout their lives.” OCLRE (Ohio Center for Law Related Education) is the primary sponsor of the High School Mock Trial Program.

In this year’s case, fictitious Philips High School agrees to license naming rights of its field to a large corporation. Students protest this action and the school district responds by installing security cameras and searching the students’ lockers. The students claim the school district has violated their rights under the First and Fourth amendments.

Teams that advance from Regional Competition will take part in the State Competition, March 6-8 in Columbus. The state champion will advance to the National High School Mock Trial Championship May 8-10 in Madison, Wisconsin.