High School Students Compete for State Mock Trial Champion Title
Today marks the start of the 33rd annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition, as about 350 high school students representing 31 Ohio schools descend on Columbus to vie for the title of state champion.
Ohio Mock Trial is a program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) and is the largest high school academic competition in the state. More than 3,500 students participate each year, and approximately 1,000 legal professionals volunteer to serve as judges, competition coordinators, and team advisors.
Each year, OCLRE writes an original case based on a relevant constitutional issue. Students must prepare arguments for both prosecution and defense. Mock trial is designed to educate students about their rights as citizens and to help them develop critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills.
The 2016 case involves fictitious defendant Officer Green, who is charged with felonious assault after using deadly force against a juvenile accused of armed robbery. The case focuses on Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures as it applies to use of force by an officer to deter or eliminate threat of harm to the officer or the public.
The first two days of the three-day state competition will take place at the Franklin County Courthouse in Columbus, and will culminate with the championship round at the Statehouse on Saturday, March 12. The championship will be broadcast live on The Ohio Channel beginning at 9 a.m. The winning team will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Championship May 12-14 in Boise, Idaho.
A complete list of the mock trial teams is available on the OCLRE website.
OCLRE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. The Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation are sponsors. The Ohio Mock Trial program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation.