Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Farm Animals Take the Stand at Mock Trial

It was an unusual sight to see costumed animal characters in the courtroom. More than 300 middle school students, some dressed as pigs and other farm animals, descended on the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center for the three-day Ohio Center for Law-Related Education Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase.

Teams from 24 middle schools across Ohio participated in the mock trial based on the classic novel “Animal Farm.”

This year’s case was a civil class action lawsuit brought by Benjamin on behalf of the non-pig animals that live on the farm that their civil rights were violated.

Logan Fryman, a seventh grader at Woodward Park Middle School in Columbus, was in character for the trial. He credits his classmates and his teacher for being rewarded by the judges as best witness.

“We worked hard, and I owe it all to Mr. Berkal for pushing us and giving us high standards,” Fryman said after the trial.

Hard work paid off for teammate, Cyann Lattimore, who took home the outstanding attorney award.

“You had to learn about objections, when to object and how to object. And how to approach witnesses and judges. How to come up with closing and opening arguments and how they had to connect. Yeah, there was a lot of work,” Lattimore said.

Each team participated in two trials to argue both plaintiff and defense positions against opposing teams.

Attorneys and judges served as showcase judges, giving students points for professional demeanor, oratory skills and an understanding of trial technique and courtroom procedure.