Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

High School Students ‘Appeal’ to Judges in State Moot Court Competition

The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) will host its fourth annual high school Moot Court Competition today at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. Students will take on the role of appellate attorneys and argue both sides of an original case.

More than 100 students representing the following schools from across the state will participate:

  • Danville High School (Knox County);
  • Gilmour Academy (Lake County);
  • Indian Hill High School (Hamilton County);
  • Kenton High School (Hardin County);
  • Marysville High School (Union County);
  • Springfield High School (Clark County);
  • Sycamore High School (Hamilton County);
  • Upper Arlington High School (Franklin County);
  • Village Academy (Delaware County);
  • William Mason High School (Warren County).

The 2017 Moot Court case follows the aftermath of a school prank gone wrong. When beloved mascot Harry the honey badger disappeared from Harrison High School, a series of mysterious social media posts indicated that Harry had been to many of Ohio’s tourist destinations. Desperate to bring Harry home, the school principal used cell phone data to find geotagged photos. The convicted student, Tracy Matthews, claims that the school violated her Fourth Amendment rights by searching her photos, and the school believes it followed school policies.

Teams will compete in a legal brief-writing phase and an oral argument phase to test their skills as appellate advocates. The championship round of oral arguments will be streamed live on the Ohio Channel website beginning at 4:15 p.m. today.

Kenton is competing for the first time. “Our students decided to compete in OCLRE’s moot court competition after their overwhelmingly positive experience in OCLRE’s mock trial competition,” said advisor and attorney Christina Q. Cross. “[They] are extremely excited to argue their appellate brief at the Ohio Supreme Court – to be able to participate in legal arguments in our state’s highest court is truly an honor and opportunity of a lifetime."

Supreme Court Justice Patrick F. Fischer will preside over the final round of competition. Fellow panelists will include Michael J. Hendershot, chief deputy solicitor; Samuel Peterson, deputy solicitor; and Tiffany Carwile, assistant attorney general in the Constitutional Offices Section, at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office; Nikki Baszynski, assistant state public defender for the Ohio Public Defender; Christopher Walker, associate professor of law for the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, and Benjamin Tracy, staff attorney for the Tenth District Court of Appeals.