Ohio Mock Trial

   photos courtesy of Dave Liggett

High School Mock Trial

Watch your students grow both academically and personally, right before your eyes! Students learn first-hand about the law, court procedures and the judicial system while also building critical 21st Century skills. The case is original and unscripted, and students must be prepared to argue both sides.

Ohio Mock Trial of­fers an in­no­v­a­tive ap­proach to learn­ing about law and how our legal sys­tem func­tions. Guided by teach­ers and vol­un­teer legal ad­vi­sors, stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in an orig­i­nal, un­scripted sim­u­lated trial writ­ten by at­tor­neys.  High school stu­dents argue both sides of the case in real court­rooms across the state.  The state fi­nals are held in the Ohio State­house, and the win­ner ad­vances to the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Each year vol­un­teer at­tor­neys cre­ate an orig­i­nal case around a cur­rent con­sti­tu­tional issue im­por­tant to stu­dents.  Mock Trial teams work with an at­tor­ney or a judge to pre­pare their case – from both the plain­tiff and de­fense per­spec­tive. Com­pe­ti­tions at the dis­trict, re­gional and state lev­els are con­ducted in an ac­tual court­room and are scored by pan­els of lawyers and judges.

Mock Trial Objectives

  • Improve critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills
  • De­velop un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the law, court pro­ce­dures, and the ju­di­cial sys­tem
  • Un­der­stand con­sti­tu­tional rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties
  • Rec­og­nize and re­ward stu­dents’ aca­d­e­mic and in­tel­lec­tual achieve­ments

 Middle School Mock Trial

Combine middle school students' love of argument with a love of good literature. Middle School Mock Trial cases are literature-based, with cases  constructed from books most commonly read in the middle grades. Students learn first-hand about the law, court procedures, and the judicial system while also building critical 21st Century skills. 

Middle School Mock Trial cases are based on pop­u­lar lit­er­a­ture, writ­ten by teams of teach­ers and lawyers.  Mid­dle school stu­dents act as wit­nesses and at­tor­neys to argue cases in­volv­ing their fa­vorite char­ac­ters.  The pro­gram was de­signed with Ohio’s New Learn­ing Stan­dards for so­cial stud­ies and Eng­lish/lan­guage arts in mind, and is ideal for in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary teach­ing. Stu­dents read and an­a­lyze wit­ness state­ments drawn from the char­ac­ters in the books.  Stu­dents then work col­lab­o­ra­tively to de­velop ar­gu­ments for both sides and de­velop strate­gies to ques­tion the wit­nesses. 

Middle School Mock Trial has ten cases based on books commonly read at the middle school level. 

OCLRE chooses one case to be the featured case at the State Showcase, so if you are planning on attending the Showcase, make sure you purchase the featured case for that year.

Hsmt TrophyOhio Mock Trial High School Competition
2017

Congratulations to all teams that competed in the 2017 High School Mock Trial State Competition.

Scoresheets were made available to all teams competing at the state level, both at the competition, and via email to advisors. If you have any questions about scoresheets, please contact csmith@oclre.org.

 Finalists:
Columbus School for Girls – Team Pop

Lake Ridge Academy – Team Blue

Orange High School – Team Everest

Westerville North – Team Marbury

St. Vincent St. Mary

Indian Hill High School – Team Black

 Runner-Up: Notre Dame Cathedral Latin – Legal Lions Blue

Nd


Winner:  Indian Hill High School – Team Red

Ih


Case Capsule

In the 2017 case, Pat Justice v. CAT News et al., students will consider a case of defamation of a public official by a news station. Pat Justice recently ran for re-election as Governor of the State of Ohio. During the campaign, Trillium High school’s We the People club invited Governor Justice to speak during the lunch hour. Afterward, the Governor met with a student in the principal’s office. Principal I.M Veritas was a rival of Governor Justice in college, and once the two were alone, an argument began which ended with the Governor storming out. As the Governor left, Principal Veritas suffered a fatal brain aneurysm and died. A student reporter heard the argument and reported to a local news affiliate CAT News that the Governor had killed the principal. While it was disproven quickly, the story went viral. Governor Justice lost the election, and has now filed a civil suit against CAT News, alleging defamation. The former Governor will seek to prove that the station published the story with reckless disregard to the truth, and that the story damaged his/her reputation and cost him/her the election.


The Ohio Mock Trial Case Capsule Video


Order this year's case materials

Order previous year's case materials


Product Descriptions & Cost

Each school must buy a case file, digitally or in hard copy (unless you received a copy at the Law & Citizenship Conference). Once you have purchased a copy of the case file, you may purchase additional copies to share with students, give to legal advisors, etc.

Case File (Hard Copy): Contains a hard copy of the case, three-hole punched and placed in a folder with the case cover. Also enclosed is a copy of the American Bar Association’s “Putting on Mock Trial.” You will receive a link for the case capsule video.  

Case File (Digital Copy): The digital copy includes a PDF of the case, with a link to the American Bar Association’s “Putting on Mock Trial” and a link to the case capsule video.

Additional Copy (Hard Copy): Additional copies will be bound and have the same contents as the case file. 

Materials

Member

Non Member

Hard Copy Case File

$180

$275

Digital Copy Case File

$165

$260

Additional Copy (Digital or Paper)

$23

$28

 
Cost of Team Registration: OCLRE Member: $170/team; Non-Member: $205/team


For more information on how to become involved with the Ohio High School Mock Trial pro­gram, please con­tact Cait­lyn Smith, csmith@oclre.org 614-485-3507.

 

 Middle School Mock Trial Showcase
2017

Oclremiddleschoolmocktrial 3603

Important Dates

Mock Trial Showcase Day 1- Friday, March 24, 2017
Mock Trial Showcase Day 2- Thursday, March 30, 2017
Mock Trial Showcase Day 3- Friday, March 31, 2017
Registration Deadline- February 28, 2017
Withdrawal Deadline- March 10, 2017- no refunds after this date

Updated 2/28/17- Space on Thursday, March 30 has become available for a limited number of team registrations. Space on both Friday, March 24 and Friday, March 31 is filled. Contact Tim Kalgreen (tkalgreen@oclre.org; 614-485-3515) to be put on the wait list. Preference will be given to schools that have a spring break conflict during the week of March 27-31. 


Case Materials

The 2017 State Showcase piece is British Crown v Johnny Tremain.
CLICK HERE to order this year's case, or any of our other Middle School Mock Trial cases: 

  • The Community v. Jaden, based on The Giver by Lois Lowry
  •  State of Mississippi v. T.J. Avery, based on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by  Mildred Taylor
  •  State of Ohio v. Frankie Hunter, based on Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  •  Benjamin et al. v. Napoleon et al., based on Animal Farm by George Orwell
  •  State of Ohio v. John Cameron Butler, based on The Light in the Forest by      Conrad Richter
  •  State of Ohio v. Philip Malloy, based on Nothing but the Truth by Avi
  •  State of California v. George Milton, based on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  •  Rhode Island v. C. Doyle, based on True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  •  State of Ohio v. Fred Smith, based on Bloodstain by Christopher Rowan 
  •  Oklahoma v. J. Case, based on The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

 Cost

 

Member Rate
Digital

Member Rate
Print

Non-Member
Rate Digital

Non-Member
Rate Print

1 case

$35

$40

$80

$85

2 cases (each)

$30

$35

$75

$80

3+ cases (each)

$25

$30

$70

$75


Culminating Activity - State Showcase
Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Ju­di­cial Cen­ter

Give your students a chance to show what they know!  Stu­dents are eval­u­ated by at­tor­neys and judges, giv­ing them an op­por­tu­nity to show­case their knowl­edge in a re­al­is­tic way.  The show­case is open to all Ohio mid­dle school teams.

Team Registration
Team Roster
Behavior Standards Form
Photo Release Form
Team Drop Form - If you need to drop a team from the Showcase, complete this form by March 10, 2017
Errata/Clarifications for British Crown v. Johnny Tremain- Updated 2/23/17
Agenda For Teams 
Agenda For Judges
Chaperone Form

State Showcase Team Registration: OCLRE Member: $80/team; Non-Member: $125/team

Registration is limited to 2 teams per school unless space is available after the registration deadline

Teams can choose to participate on any of the three days based on schedule and availability.  Teams will be placed on a first-come, first-served basis.

All forms must be submitted by the registration deadline of February 28, 2017

Updated 2/23/17- Space on Thursday, March 30 has become available for a limited number of team registrations. Space on both Friday, March 24 and Friday, March 31 is filled. Contact Tim Kalgreen (tkalgreen@oclre.org; 614-485-3515) to be put on the wait list. Preference will be given to schools that have a spring break conflict during the week of March 27-31.


For more information on how to become involved with the Middle School Mock Trial pro­gram, please con­tact Tim Kalgreen, tkalgreen@oclre.org 614-485-3515.

Adobestock 91860371

High School Mock Trial District and Regional Coordinator Page

There will be 27 district and 10 regional competitions in 2017!


 


 Important dates:
• District Competition- January 20, 2017
• District Make-up Competition (at Capital Law School in Columbus)- January 28, 2017
• Regional Competition- February 10, 2017
• Regional Make-up Competition (at Capital Law School in Columbus)- February 18, 2017

Reminders:
• All pairings are decided by OCLRE exclusively. Please refer all questions regarding pairings to the Mock Trial Coordinator, Caitlyn Smith, at 614-485-3507, or csmith@oclre.org
•If you require additional copies of the documents listed below, please send an email or call to request additional copies. Please make all copy request prior to January 4. 
•If you have not received your coordinator box by December 15, 2017 please contact OCLRE to arrange for shipment of new materials.


Weather Policy

Please note the weather policy, as written in OCLRE competition rule II.F (page 10):

“The competition will run as scheduled RAIN or SHINE. The only way to guarantee that a team will compete is to arrive at an open competition site. Teams travel to and from Mock Trial at their own risk, and each team’s advisor must determine whether it is safe for the team to travel to the competition site. The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is not responsible for the safety of team members who travel to or from the Mock Trial competition. Teams MUST immediately contact the OCLRE office and the district/regional/state coordinator if weather or any other reason prevents their participation. In the event that a significant number of teams are not able to compete due to weather at the district or regional competitions, the OCLRE will make an effort to provide a suitable make-up competition for those teams, but cannot guarantee this will occur. If a make-up competition occurs, it will be scheduled within seven days of the original competition date established by OCLRE and teams may have to travel and compete on a weekend. If a team drops out of competition after district or regional schedules have been released, the team must fax the Drop Form to both OCLRE and the district or regional coordinator.”

Questions

High School Mock Trial FAQs

Middle School Mock Trial FAQs


How do I get started?
If you or your school/organization are new to Ohio Mock Trial, welcome! First, you need the case file… The case is released annually at the Law & Citizenship Conference. Conference attendees are the first to receive their copy of the case and are also able to attend many mock trial related sessions, including the case presentation by members of the case writing committee and OCLRE staff. In addition to the case file, conference attendees hear from top-notch speakers in the fields of civics, social studies, law, and government, and leave with 30+ lessons and resources. *Additionally, if you register for one or both days of the Law & Citizenship Conference, you can attend a FREE mock trial professional development session the day prior to the conference. This professional development session is intended for those who are new to mock trial, or who would like a refresher.

I am unable to attend the Law & Citizenship Conference but want to get the Mock Trial case. What do I do?!
Take a deep breath and relax. You can still order the case! Complete this form and the case file will be sent to you. Please note that cases will not be sent until after the Law & Citizenship Conference in September. 

I’ve got my case materials. Is that all? Am I ready to compete?
NO. Not yet. Team registration is a separate cost and registration form. Most team advisors wait until closer to the registration deadline, usually mid December, to make sure that student interest hasn’t waned and to be certain of the number of teams they will field. A team consists of 5 – 11 students.

My students and I are struggling with start-up. Who can help us?
OCLRE has teacher mentors for all of its programs, including mock trial. Teacher mentors have expressed willingness to help other teachers who are new to a program, to answer questions from the teacher perspective or offer advice. Click Here to access a list of mentors. You can also contact the Mock Trial Program Coordinator Caitlyn Smith: csmith@oclre.org.

How much time should my students and I spend on practice and preparation?
The short and simple answer is: it varies. Some teams are classroom based and therefore spend class time each week preparing. Other teams are extra-curricular and meet one or more times per week, before or after school or on weekends. Others may only have time to meet a few times per month. There is no right or wrong answer. Figure out what works best for you, your fellow advisors (if any), and your students. The case is released in September and the first competition date is at the end of January, so at most teams have about four months to prepare.

I don’t have a legal advisor. Do I need one?
OCLRE does not require that mock trial teams have a legal advisor, however, most teachers appreciate assistance from volunteer attorneys, who help students understand case law, courtroom procedure and etiquette. Often times a mock trial legal advisor is the parent of a student, or a local attorney who volunteers in his/her community. Time commitment for volunteer legal advisors varies and is worked out between the teacher/team advisor and attorney. If you are unable to find a legal advisor, contact Caitlyn Smith (csmith@oclre.org), and OCLRE may be able to put you in contact with an interested local attorney.

When and where do my students compete?
District Competition (the first round of competition) takes place in January. To the greatest extent possible, teams are assigned to a competition site closest to their school. Competition site placement is based on a number of factors, including teams’ ability to travel and courtroom availability at local competition sites. Teams that win both trials (having played both P and D) at the District level advance to Regional Competition in February. Teams that win both trials at Regional Competition will advance to State Competition, in March in Columbus. The state champion team is eligible to compete in the National Mock Trial Competition.

I have a question about, or found a discrepancy in, the facts of the case and/or a witness statement. What do I do?
OCLRE will post errata on the Mock Trial page every two weeks beginning in October and going through January. Errata questions must be submitted by the teacher or legal advisor, not students, and should be directed to csmith@oclre.org.

It’s competition day and there is inclement weather in my part of the state/school is delayed/school is closed, etc. What do I do?
If your team cannot make it to the competition site, please immediately notify the district/regional competition coordinator where you are scheduled to compete (available in January) as soon as possible. You should also notify OCLRE by contacting Caitlyn Smith: csmith@oclre.org or (614) 485-3507. Teams are expected to follow school district policy and/or common sense when making the decision whether or not to travel in inclement weather. Most importantly: safety should come first! The scheduling of make-up competitions is at the discretion of OCLRE and the affected site coordinators (please see page 10 of the case manual for make-up competition policy).

My school doesn’t have a mock trial team, but I want to get involved. What can I do?
Are you a high school student? Start by talking to a teacher – it could be a social studies teacher, the drama teacher, or even the principal. If you and four or more interested students are willing to take on the challenge, the teacher may be willing, too. There is some expense involved, so make sure to factor that into consideration. If you get buy-in from school personnel, refer the person to the top of this list of FAQs for next steps. If a student can’t convince a teacher in his/her school, please contact OCLRE. On occasion, there are non-school affiliated community teams or other opportunities to get involved.

I am having trouble with the online order form and am getting frustrated. What should I do?
Don’t worry – OCLRE is here to help! Call us at (614) 485-3510 or toll-free at (877)485-3510 and ask for Cathy. She can guide you through problems and make sure you get what you need. Additionally, Cathy can answer questions about user names and passwords, as well as payment options. OCLRE endeavors to continually improve our online order and registration processes to benefit our customers, and your feedback helps us to do so.

What are the payment options for online orders and registrations? Do I have to use a credit card?
OCLRE offers several payment options. You may pay with a credit card, request to be invoiced, or enter a purchase order (PO) number. If the PO number is not known at the time an order is placed, you may select the purchase order option and then enter “pending” for the number.

How do I know if my order/registration has been completed successfully?
When orders and registrations have been submitted successfully to OCLRE, an automatic email confirmation is generated and should arrive in your inbox within minutes. If you do not receive a confirmation email within an hour, please contact OCLRE.
A few helpful hints for proper form completion:
Follow the process all the way through, using the “Next” and “Submit” buttons.
Complete all required (*) fields, or you will not be able to proceed/finish
Complete the payment portion of the form, even if you are not paying by credit card. Other options that you can select include requesting an invoice or entering a PO number (or indicate that a PO is in process and the number is “pending”)

<<back to top>>


 

I am brand new to Middle School Mock Trial. What's my first step?

Welcome! First step would be to get the case file. Middle School Mock Trial has ten cases based on books commonly read at the middle school level. 

OCLRE cases in­clude:

  •  The Community v. Jaden, based on The Giver by Lois Lowry
  •  State of Mississippi v. T.J. Avery, based on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by  Mildred Taylor
  •  State of Ohio v. Frankie Hunter, based on Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  •  Benjamin et al. v. Napoleon et al., based on Animal Farm by George Orwell
  •  State of Ohio v. John Cameron Butler, based on The Light in the Forest by      Conrad Richter
  •  State of Ohio v. Philip Malloy, based on Nothing but the Truth by Avi
  •  State of California v. George Milton, based on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  •  Rhode Island v. C. Doyle, based on True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  •  State of Ohio v. Fred Smith, based on Bloodstain by Christopher Rowan 
  •  Oklahoma v. J. Case, based on The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

OCLRE chooses one case to be the featured case at the State Showcase, so if you are planning on attending the Showcase, make sure you purchase the featured case for that year.

How many students do I need to make a Middle School Mock trial team?
Middle School Mock trial teams consist of 6-12 students. Each team will need to play both the prosecution and defense during separate trials. How you assign roles and if a student needs to play more than one role will depend on the number of students on your team.

Do I need to plan on attending all three days of the State Showcase?
No. Middle School Mock Trial is offered over three days, but teams participate on only one day. Teachers can pick the day that works best for their schedule.

<<back to top>>

 

 

Partnering with Teachers to Bring Citizenship to Life

Our Sponsors

Ohio Supreme Court      Ohio Attorney General      Ohio State Bar Association      ACLU