High School Students Advance to Regional Mock Trial Competition
COLUMBUS (Feb. 9, 2017) – Following a district competition in which more than 3,000 Ohio high school students competed, approximately 1,000 students – representing 110 teams – will compete this Friday, February 10, in the regional level of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s (OCLRE) 34th Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition.
In the 2017 Ohio Mock Trial case, Pat Justice v. CAT News et al., students will consider a case of defamation of a public official by a news station. In the fictitious case, Governor Pat Justice speaks at a school assembly. Afterward, he meets with the school principal, and an argument ensues. Governor Justice leaves abruptly, and the principal is found dead from a brain aneurysm. A student who overheard the argument reports to a local news outlet that Governor Justice killed the principal. While the student’s account is quickly disproven, the story goes viral. The governor loses a bid for re-election and files civil suit against the news station, alleging defamation.
Each Ohio Mock Trial team consists of five to eleven students who assume the roles of witnesses and attorneys to present both sides of an original case based on a constitutional issue. Each team will compete in two trials against opposing teams.
Regional winners will compete in the State Competition on March 9-11 in Columbus. The 2017 State Champion will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Hartford, Connecticut on May 11-13.
OCLRE is a private non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General, Ohio State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. The Ohio Mock Trial program is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation.