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Students Tackle Real Issues in Simulated Trials


News Release                                                                 Contact: Kate Strickland
For Immediate Release                                            OCLRE Executive Director
                                                                                      ; 614-485-3501


Students Tackle Real Issues in Simulated Trials

COLUMBUS (Jan. 24, 2018) - More than 3,000 high school students will enter courtrooms across the state on Friday, January 26, to take part in the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s (OCLRE) 35th Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition.

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.

The 2018 Ohio Mock Trial case, borrowed from the popular podcast, Serial, has students consider the post-conviction relief proceedings for a youth who claims to have been wrongfully convicted of a 1998 crime. Students must consider a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel, and what should happen when an attorney provides less than adequate assistance.    

Ohio Mock Trial district competitions will be hosted in 24 counties throughout Ohio and more than 1,000 legal professionals will serve as volunteer judges, competition coordinators and team advisors.  Ohio Mock Trial is Ohio’s largest high school academic competition and among the largest high school mock trial programs in the nation.      

Ryan Suskey, OCLRE Director of Programs, describes the mock trial program as “an opportunity for students to become involved in discussions of significant social importance. Students in the mock trial program are given the chance to tackle a topic from both sides of the argument and consider the real-world implications of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. OCLRE programs are about making civic education real for students, and Mock Trial is no exception.”

Teams that win both trials in the district competition will advance to regional competition on February 16.  Regional winners will compete in the state competition on March 8-10 in Columbus. The 2018 State Champion team will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Reno, Nevada, May 10-13.

OCLRE is a private non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose mission 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.



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