Regional Round of High School Mock Trial Competition Begins Feb. 10
Following a district competition that involved more than 3,000 Ohio high school students, about 1,000 students – representing 110 teams – will compete regionally on Feb. 10 in the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s 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 defamation.
Each 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.
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.