High school students head to court in Mock Trial

Submitted Photo The Scioto County District Mock Trial is Jan. 29, 2016, and the winning team will advance to the Regional Competition on Feb. 19, and from there possibly to the State Championship in Boise, Idaho, in May.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Jan. 19, 2016) — More than 3,000 high school students will enter courtrooms across the state on Friday, Jan. 29, to take part in the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s (OCLRE) 33rd Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition.

The 2016 Ohio Mock Trial case focuses on Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures as it applies to use of force by an officer to deter or eliminate threat of harm to the officer or the public. In this year’s case, fictitious defendant Officer Green is charged with felonious assault after using deadly force against a juvenile accused of armed robbery.

Ohio Mock Trial District Competitions will be hosted in 27 counties throughout Ohio and more than 1,000 legal professionals will serve as volunteer judges, competition coordinators and team advisors. Local students will participate in the Scioto County District Mock Trial from Notre Dame, Minford, Portsmouth, Portsmouth West, Sciotoville Community, South Webster, St. Joseph (Ironton), Valley, and Wheelersburg schools.

Each Ohio Mock Trial team consists of five to 11 students who prepare both plaintiff and defense cases. Students 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.

“In addition to teaching students how the U.S. Constitution is relevant to their lives,” OCLRE Executive Director Lisa Eschleman said, “mock trial provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn and practice analytic and research skills. Presenting a trial before a panel of judges and attorneys is an authentic and unique experience they will carry with them throughout their lives.”

Teams that advance from the District Competition will compete in the Regional Competition on Feb. 19. Regional winners will compete in the State Competition on March 10-12 in Columbus. The 2016 State Champion will represent Ohio in the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Boise, Idaho, May 12-14.

The Ohio Mock Trial program is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

The Scioto County District Mock Trial is sponsored by The American Legion James Dickey Post 23, The Honorable Howard H. Harcha III, Portsmouth Bar Association, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Scioto Foundation, and the Southern Ohio Medical Center, and is coordinated by Sharee Price, gifted services coordinator at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center.

For more information about the South Central Ohio ESC, visit online at www.scoesc.org, or follow the ESC on Facebook and Twitter.