Ohio Middle School Mock Trial

   photos courtesy of Dave Liggett

Ohio Middle School Mock Trial 

About 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 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. 

OCLRE Mock Trial provides the opportunity for students to put together a coherent argument for their side of the case using furnished testimonial and physical evidence.  The comprehensive approach includes reading a case summary, trial briefs, and witness statements. 

Middle School Mock Trial has cases based on books commonly read at the middle school level.  OCLRE chooses one case to be the featured case at the State Showcase.

For questions, contact Danielle Wilmot at dwilmot@oclre.org or 614-485-3507


 "Mock Trial teaches students so much more than the legal process.  They develop teamwork strategies, critical thinking skills, and so much more.  The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming after they complete a trial.” ~ Amy Huber, Ridgeview Middle School

 “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about the legal system and to find their voices.” ~ Christine Spinner, St. Hilary School

 “Middle School Mock Trial benefits the students by improving their speaking skills and helping students overcome the fear of public speaking.  It encourages students to think outside the box and dive into subject matter that is not always familiar to them.” ~ Vicky Potter, Danville Middle School

 “The growth you will see in the children is well worth it!” ~Mehgan Lucas, Trellis Academy

 “It is a great, self-motivated chance for students to focus on presentation skills.” ~ Drew Farrell, Genoa Middle School

 “It’s a fun, unique way to expose kids to the law.  It involves public speaking and thinking on your feet.  I would encourage teachers to try it!” ~ Lisa Koo, Shalom Christian Academy


Mock Trial Case Files

2023 Middle School Mock Trial Case

2023 Msmt Book Announcement

Stanley Yelnats is a teenage boy living in Texas in 1998. Stanley is convicted of stealing a valuable pair of shoes signed by a star athlete for a local charity auction. During sentencing, Stanley and his parents are given the option of having Stanley sent to jail, or Camp Green Lake, a camp for bad boys. At the judge’s suggestion, they decide to send Stanley to Camp Green Lake. 

The boys at Camp Green Lake are under the care of Warden Walker, who runs the camp on land that was passed down from her great-grandfather. The camp sits in the middle of the Texas desert with high heat and dangerous insects and animals. As their punishment, and to build character, the campers are required to dig one hole each day. After many weeks at Camp Green Lake, Stanley’s family finally has enough money to hire a lawyer. When the lawyer arrives at Camp Green Lake, she finds Stanley and another camper in a dangerous situation. This ultimately leads to Warden Walker’s arrest for child endangerment and felonious assault.


Order the 2023 State Showcase Piece HERE!


We have made minor changes to the original case, so everyone should receive the updated version. However, if you purchased the case in 2019/2020, you will receive the updated case free of charge.

Case Materials Cost



Member Rate (Digital)

Non-Member Rate (Digital)

Showcase Piece:



Past Case:



Additional Middle School Mock Trial Cases

OCLRE offers 11 cases based on books commonly read at the Middle School level.  Any of these cases can be used in the classroom as a complement when educators might teach the book as part of the class. 

OCLRE rotates one case each year to be the featured State Showcase piece.  If you plan on attending the Showcase, make sure you purchase the featured case for that year.


You may order a past Middle School Mock Trial case HERE.


  • 2023 Showcase Piece: State of Texas v. Walker, based on Holes, Louis Sachar
  • State of Arizona v. Susanna Morales, based on Greystone Secrets: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Oklahoma v. J. Case, based on The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • State of Mississippi v. T.J. Avery, based on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by  Mildred Taylor
  • British Crown v. Johnny Tremain, based on Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • The Community v. Jaden, based on The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • 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. Philip Malloy, based on Nothing but the Truth by Avi
  • 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 
An additional case, The People v. Dr. Gimesby Roylott, based on The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is available as a free download.  This can give your students the opportunity to practice a whole or parts of a mock trial before diving into a larger case.  

Questions?  Contact Program Coordinator, Danielle Wilmot at dwilmot@oclre.org, 614.485.3507.

Not a member yet?  You can easily join while registering for any OCLRE program!

Mock Trial Showcase

Thank You!


MSMT Thank You Notes 1   MSMT Thank You Notes 2

Thank you to the volunteers who judged the 2023 State Showcase!

Showcase Results


Congratulations to all students participating in the 2023 Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase! Results from all three showcase days are listed below in alphabetical order.



Belpre Middle School

Chagrin Falls Middle School

Danville Middle School

Garfield Middle School Team Gold

Garfield Middle School Team Purple

Perrysburg Junior High School Team Sploosh

Reading Jr/Sr High School - The Yellow Spotted Litigators

St. Matthew the Apostle Team 6-7

St. Matthew the Apostle Team 7-8

Walnut Springs Middle School

Woodward Park Middle School



Bethany School

Genoa Middle School Team Silver

Harding Middle School Team 7

Harding Middle School Team 8

Heritage Middle School

Independence Middle School

Jackson Local Schools Team Gold

Jackson Local Schools Team Purple

Kenston Mock Trial Team

Menlo Park Academy Team Edison

Menlo Park Academy Team Tesla

Seton Catholic School Crusaders 8A

Seton Catholic School Crusaders 8B

Trellis Academy

Walnut Hills Team Blue

Walnut Hills Team Gold



Columbus Gifted Academy

Genoa Middle School Team Royal Blue

Lebanon Christian Middle School

Otsego Junior High

Perrysburg Junior High School Team Venom

Seton Catholic School Crusaders 6

Seton Catholic School Crusaders 7

St. Hilary School Red

St. Hilary School White

Wheelersburg Middle School


Team Registration Pricing



Member Rate

Non-Member Rate 

1 Team:



2 Teams:



For more information on how to become involved with the Middle School Mock Trial pro­gram, please con­tact Danielle Wilmot at dwilmot@oclre.org or 614-485-3507.

Middle School Mock Trial Professional Development

2022 Mock Trial Conference

OCLRE hosted the 3rd annual Mock Trial Conference on Tuesday, September 27. To view the list of sessions offered, click HERE. If you registered for the conference, you will receive access to the video recordings on Tuesday, October 4. Below is a list of presenters.

Conference Presenters

Amanda Strausbaugh - Facts and the Law


Ben Sandlin - Witness Impeachment

Ben Sandlin Photo

This is Ben Sandlin’s thirteenth year involved in mock trial. He started competing in the OCLRE with Reading High School in 2009 until he graduated in 2012. Ben attended Miami University where he competed on the college’s mock trial team until graduation in 2016. He attended the University of Cincinnati College of Law where he continued his trial team participation until graduation in 2019. Since 2016, he has coached Miami University’s teams, and he assisted in coaching the team to a National Championship in 2018. Ben is a member of Thompson Hine’s business litigation group; he focuses on cases involving trade secret misappropriation, sophisticated theft of company property, and other matters usually involving immediate, emergency injunctive relief. Ben is also a member of Thompson Hine’s white-collar criminal defense group; he has defended clients facing environmental enforcement actions, violations of federal tax law, and fraud-based offenses. Finally, Ben is a member of the OCLRE’s case committee for this year’s case and hopes the students enjoy the #eggscellent fact pattern the committee crafted.  


The Honorable Kim A. Browne - Panelist: Teaching Students to Advocate

Judge Browne Photo

Since January 15, 2002, Judge Kim A. Browne has stood firmly with the families of Franklin County! 

ELECTED as Judge of the Franklin County Domestic Relations & Juvenile Court in 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2016! 

SERVED as Lead Juvenile Judge, Administrative Judge, Attorney at Maguire & Schneider, LLP, Director of Legal Operations for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), Director of Employee and Labor Relations (BWC), State Workplace Mediator (BWC), Labor Relations Officer at the Ohio Department of Administrative Services/Office of Collective Bargaining and Arbitration Clerk at OCSEA, AFSCME Local 11. 

EDUCATED at The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, and the University of Cincinnati with a BA degree in Economics. 

DEDICATED to creating innovative means to educate and inspire youth to meet and exceed their own ambitions, such as the Mini-Moot Court Competition for middle and high school-age children, the All Rize College Tour for at-risk youth. Judge Browne also oversees the Court’s Judicial Extern program in collaboration with OSU Moritz and Capital University Colleges of Law. 

INVOLVED as Chair of the Franklin County Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative (JJCPI), Teen and Police Service Academy, OCLRE Mock Trial Legal Advisor, Adjunct Professor for Ohio Dominican University, Ohio Supreme Court Case Management Advisory Committee, State JDAI State Leadership Committee, Ohio Women’s Bar Association, Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges, Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges, National Council of Juvenile/Family Court Judges, Ohio Center for Legal-Related Education Advisory Committee, Franklin University Public Safety Board, Women-to-Women, Columbus NAACP Chapter & Whitehall Community Youth Roundtable. 


Phil Sarnowski - Panelist: Teaching Students to Advocate

Phil Sarnowski Photo

Phil Sarnowski is a litigation associate in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA. Phil defends matters involving catastrophic injury, wrongful death, premises liability, product liability, insurance coverage, transportation issues, and toxic torts, among other claims. Phil works in a fast-paced litigation environment dealing with wide-ranging issues from emergency responses, international business disputes, and lawsuits against transit companies and motor carriers. Phil first became involved with the Ohio High School Mock Trial program in 2017 as a judge, and then joined the Mock Trial Case Committee in 2018.  


Monica Tuttle - Panelist: Teaching Students to Advocate


Zach HeckPanelist: Teaching Students to Advocate

Zach Heck Photo

Zach Heck is a privacy and data security attorney at Taft Law.  Specifically, Zach assists clients in the areas of data governance, privacy compliance, and guidance in the aftermath of an information security incident, including data breaches.  The Dayton Business Journal named Zach a member of the 2018 Forty under 40 class of emerging leaders, and that same year he was inducted into the Centerville Education Foundation's Hall of Fame for his role as coach of the Centerville High School Mock Trial Team.  Zach is currently in his sixteenth year coaching CHS.  He earned his J.D. magna cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Indiana Law Journal, and as Executive Problem Co-Author of the Sherman Minton Moot Court Board. 


Amanda Weatherwax - Mock Trial Scope & Sequence

Amanda Weatherwax Photo

Amanda Weatherwax teaches English and coaches Mock Trial at Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami University).  She enjoys watching students grow as thinkers and speakers through the Ohio High School Mock program, and she loves it when THS Mock Trial alum come back to coach the next generation of Mockers with her.  


Ryan Suskey - Objections to Witness Testimony


Kimberly P. Jordan - High School Mock Trial Case Topic

Kim Jordan Photo

Kimberly P. Jordan is the Director of the Justice for Children Project and a Clinical Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. She teaches in the Justice for Children Clinic representing youth in delinquency, child welfare, and immigration matters. She also teaches introductory courses on Interviewing and Counseling and Criminal Law in Action. In 2018, Professor Jordan received the Noel E. Kaech Juvenile Defender Award from the Ohio Public Defender. In 2019, she received the Ohio Attorney of the Year Award from Ohio CASA. Prior to joining Moritz, Professor Jordan was a Senior Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC, where she specialized in family law and the representation of children. Early in her career, she served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and was a licensed substance abuse counselor. Professor Jordan is a graduate of the Loyola University Chicago of Law, where she was a Child Law Fellow, and Xavier University. 

If you are interested in learning more about Middle School Mock Trial, please contact the program coordinator, Danielle Wilmot (dwilmot@oclre.org). 

Ohio Mock Trial Resources


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