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St. Edward Wins State Mock Trial Competition

By ALENCIA LANG/Court News Ohio

St. Edward High School in Lakewood took home the gold at the 40th annual Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) Mock Trial State Competition.

More than 200 high school students representing 21 schools argued a fictional court case before a panel of judges. St. Edward and reigning champion Talawanda High School in Oxford, competed during the final round held at the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Gavin Addington, a senior from the Cleveland-area winning team, said the group spent hours practicing and memorizing case material. He knew that the more comfortable they were with the information and with each other, the better off they’d be. It’s experience he has gained and cherished since his freshman year in the mock trial program.

“I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I’ve had a lot of fun the last four years. Going into it I knew this would only help with public speaking and confidence, and I can say it definitely has,” he said.

Addington was given the competition’s outstanding attorney award, and the panel was impressed with both teams’ preparation and performance. Retired Clermont County Judge Jerry McBride said the students would make great attorneys in the future.

The Ohio Mock Trial program is the largest non-athletic competition in the state with about three thousand students and more than a thousand legal professionals volunteering as legal advisors, case committee members, and judges.

“Our staff works for months to research, write, and edit an original case each year. It is a labor of love that is never fully realized until the students bring the case to life with their arguments,” OCLRE Executive Director Kate Strickland said. “We are incredibly proud of all student competitors, and what a special honor to host the final round at the Supreme Court of Ohio!”

The St. Edward mock trial team will advance to the national competition in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can watch the final round of the state championship online.

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