Monday, March 10, 2014

Ohio Mock Trial March Madness XXXI

The NCAA is not the only game in town. Ohio high schools had their own version of March Madness this past week when in the span of three days, 30 teams from across the state competed in the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s 31st High School Mock Trial Competition.

Preliminaries had been conducted throughout the state, and winners advanced to the regional competitions. The state semi-finals began on Thursday, March 6 at the Franklin County Courthouse in Columbus with two teams advancing to the finals held Saturday at the Ohio Statehouse. Sylvania Southview High School in Lucas County and Orange High School in Cuyahoga County each won four consecutive trials to advance to the championship.
The mock trials this year focused on the First Amendment freedom of expression and Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The case pitted the school district against students who protested the district’s signing the high school field’s naming rights to a large corporation. The competing teams, coached by their volunteer legal advisors, presented their cases before a panel of two judges and two attorneys in a case written by a committee of volunteer attorneys.
2014 Ohio High School Mock Trial champions
Sylvania Southview
with the panel of judges after the competition.
The panel that presided over the championship after lengthy deliberations chose Sylvania Southview as the winner. Team member Yuran Chen was singled out for his outstanding performance as a plaintiff’s attorney. This is the first time in 10 years that a Southview team has won the championship.

Beginning in 1983, The Mock Trial Program is Ohio’s largest high school academic competition with more than 3,000 students participating each year. The case materials show students what a case is like and how it progresses throughout a trial and allow them to become attorneys and witnesses. We now have attorneys and at least one judge who actually got their first taste of law through by experiencing the mock trial program.

The Madness continues into May, when competition goes national in Madison, Wisconsin. Stay tuned, and we will update you on the outcome.

Good luck, Sylvania Southview! You carry the best wishes of your state. Do us proud!