Court News Ohio
Students Head to
Court, Tackle Timely Issue in Mock Trial Competition
January 19, 2017
More than 3,000 high school students will enter courtrooms across the
state on Friday to take part in the Ohio Center for Law-Related
Education’s (OCLRE) 34th Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition.
In this year’s fictitious case, Pat Justice v. CAT News et al.,
students will consider the defamation of a public official by a news
station. Gov. Pat Justice speaks at a school assembly. Afterward, he
meets with the school principal and an argument ensues. Gov. 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 Gov. 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
Each Ohio Mock Trial team consists of five to 11 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.
Twenty-seven counties will host district competitions. More than 1,000
legal professionals will serve as volunteer judges, competition
coordinators, and team advisors. Mock Trial is Ohio’s largest high
school academic competition and among the largest mock trial programs
in the nation.
Teams that advance from the districts will compete in the regionals on
Feb. 10. 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.