Ohio High School Mock Trial


   photos courtesy of Dave Liggett

Ohio Mock Trial High School Competition


About High School Mock Trial

Watch your students grow both academically and personally, right before your eyes! Students learn first-hand about the law, court procedures and the judicial system while also building critical 21st Century skills. 

Ohio Mock Trial of­fers an in­no­v­a­tive ap­proach to learn­ing the law and how our legal sys­tem func­tions. Guided by teach­ers and vol­un­teer legal ad­vi­sors, stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in an orig­i­nal, un­scripted sim­u­lated trial writ­ten by at­tor­neys.  High school stu­dents argue both sides of the case in real court­rooms across the state.  The state fi­nals are held in the Ohio State­house and the win­ner ad­vances to the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Each year vol­un­teer at­tor­neys cre­ate an orig­i­nal case around a cur­rent con­sti­tu­tional issue im­por­tant to stu­dents.  Mock Trial teams work with an at­tor­ney or a judge to pre­pare their case – from both the plain­tiff and de­fense per­spec­tive. Com­pe­ti­tions at the dis­trict, re­gional and state lev­els are con­ducted in an ac­tual court­room and are scored by pan­els of lawyers and judges.


Mock Trial Objectives

  • Improve critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills
  • De­velop un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the law, court pro­ce­dures, and the ju­di­cial sys­tem
  • Un­der­stand con­sti­tu­tional rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties
  • Rec­og­nize and re­ward stu­dents’ aca­d­e­mic and in­tel­lec­tual achieve­ments

 

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

2024 Ohio Mock Trial Case 

 

 

OCLRE is excited to release the 2024 Ohio Mock Trial Case! In the case State of Buckeye v. Ash Espinosa, students will examine the history and application of the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, this case looks at excessive fines in the context of property forfeiture resulting from a crime. The defendant, Ash Espinosa, has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. The State is now looking to recover the loss of the conspiracy by seizing Espinosa’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. However, Espinosa argues against the Camaro’s seizure for two reasons: 1) Espinosa asserts that the State has seized more property and funds than what Espinosa owes and 2) Espinosa argues that, even if the Court determines that Espinosa is responsible for the remaining loss, seizure of the Camaro would violate Espinosa’s Eighth Amendment right against excessive fines. To learn more, order the 2024 Mock Trial case below!

 

Order the Ohio High School Mock Trial case HERE!

 


Errata Updates

 

Errata updates will be posted on this page, as well as the restricted webpage containing the case materials. Please refer to the Mock Trial case file for a complete list of errata dates. 

 

The errata sheet serves to clarify or correct errors in the Mock Trial case and/or rules. The errata sheet does not address team strategy, coaching, or judging protocol. If a question received does not meet the criteria for errata (e.g., pertains to an evidence question), an email response will be sent to the individual advisor.

 Final Errata Update - 01/16/24

Errata Update - 01/02/24

Errata Update - 12/12/23

Errata Update - 11/28/23

Errata Update - 11/14/23

Errata Update - 10/31/23

 First Errata Update - 10/17/23

 

Note: Only team advisors may submit errata questions.


 

 

Watch 2023 Case Committee Co-Chair Ben Sandlin give an overview of the legal topic in the 2024 Ohio Mock Trial Case File, State of Buckeye v. Ash Espinosa.


Case Materials Cost

 

 

Member Rate (Digital): Non-Member Rate (Digital)

Digital Case File (PDF):

$165 $260

*Hard Copy Student Manuals:

$23 $28

Shipping (Student manuals only):

 

$15 shipping for hard copy orders up to 10 case files

$30 shipping for hard copy orders of 11+ case files 

 

*Hard copy student manuals may only be purchased in addition to the digital case file. All schools participating in the Mock Trial Competition must purchase a digital case file. 


Previous Cases 

 
Looking for a prior year's case file? To view a complete list of case summaries from 1983-2023, click HERE. To order a prior year's case, please complete the order form HERE.

 

2022-23 In Re S. KhanStevie Khan was a student at Trillium High School. When a prank ruined the school’s annual alumni breakfast during their junior year, Stevie became a suspect. During the investigation into the prank, Stevie was brought into the Dean of Students’ office where Stevie was asked about their involvement in the prank. At some point during the questioning, the school resource officer (SRO) Ari Nowak became involved. Stevie’s statements during the questioning led to a search warrant and Stevie’s ultimate arrest. Now, Stevie Khan is moving the court to suppress the incriminating statements that led to the search warrant, claiming a violation of their constitutional rights. Stevie claims that their questioning was a custodial interrogation, and they should have been read their Miranda rights. 2022-23 Case Capsule Video

2021-22 State of Buckeye ex rel. Hollis Fitzpatrick v. Fran DeBier, et al.: Hollis Fitzpatrick was the owner of a family restaurant, Fitzpatrick’s, in downtown Harmony. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the state of Buckeye in 2020, Fitzpatrick’s struggled financially and ultimately shut down. Hollis blames the government restrictions for the closure of their restaurant and is taking legal action to be compensated for their loss. This case asks students to consider whether the pandemic restrictions were so severe that they constituted a taking of Hollis Fitzpatrick’s property that requires just compensation. 2021-22 Case Capsule Video

2020-21 State of Buckeye v. Micah Opessa: In 2019, Micah Opessa pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of their former best-friend, Haumea Robins. A year into their sentence, Micah found out the eyewitness who saw Micah fleeing the crime recanted their testimony. Now, Micah has filed a motion to withdraw their guilty plea, claiming the prosecutor violated their constitutional rights when they knowingly withheld this information when they offered Micah a plea deal. The Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland requires the prosecution to overturn exculpatory evidence during trial. In this Mock Trial case, students will argue whether this precedent also applies to plea negotiations.  2020-21 Case Capsule Video

2019-20  Rory Maldonado v. Blake Varga et al: During their senior year at Trillium High School, Rory Maldonado was suspended by Principal Blake Varga for organizing and hosting a gun rights demonstration. The demonstration occurred off campus at a nearby public park but Principal Varga claimed that Rory’s demonstration caused disruption at the school. Rory believed Principal Varga simply disagreed with Rory’s position on gun rights, which led to the suspension. Now, Rory is suing Principal BlakeVarga and the school for a deprivation of their First Amendment Rights.  2019-20 Case Capsule Video

2018-19  State of Buckeye v. Quinn Woolf: Quinn Woolf: High school student, Quinn Woolf, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and telecommunications fraud for stealing $120 million from the State of Buckeye’s pension fund.  The state is basing its charges on drone footage of the Woolf’s backyard captured from 400 feet in the air that was later enhanced. Defense has moved to exclude the drone footage, claiming that police violated Quinn’s Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.  2018-19 Case Capsule Video

 

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

 

Mock Trial Competition


Competition Forms

Competition Dates

  • State CompetitionMarch 7-9, 2024

 


2024 Mock Trial Competition

Congratulations to Ohio Mock Trial students! 91 teams competed in the Regional Competition on Friday, February 16, 2024. OCLRE also thanks our dedicated volunteers who served as judges and site coordinators. We value your commitment to our programs.

If you have not received a copy of your score sheets, please contact Danielle Wilmot via email at dwilmot@oclre.org.

 

State Competition Information

OCLRE has reserved hotel blocks at The Sheraton and The Westin in downtown Columbus for the State Competition. The hotel blocks reserved by OCLRE are intended for participating students and advisors only. Parents and observers should not book rooms under this block to ensure that there is enough space for participants. 

  • The Westin Great Southern Columbus (310 S High Street, Columbus, OH 43215)
    • Reserve by Saturday, February 17, 2024 
    • Room rate per night of $159 
    • You can book the group rate by visiting the Westin group website HERE. 
  • The Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square (75 East State Street, Columbus, OH 43215)
    • Reserve by Saturday, February 17, 2024 
    • Room rate per night of $139 
    • To book, please reference OCLRE Mock Trial or use reference # M-S1Q75VP 

 

State Qualifiers

Below are the 28 teams that have qualified for the 2024 Mock Trial State Competition.

School Team Name
Archbishop Hoban 1
Archbishop Hoban 2
Centerville HS 2
Claymont HS 2
Cuyahoga Hts HS 1
Danville HS 1
Dublin Jerome High School 1
Eastwood I HS 1
Indian Hill HS 3
Kenston High School Mock Trial Team 1
Keystone HS 1
Lake High School 2
Orange HS 1
Orange HS 3
Portsmouth West HS 1
Reading Community High School 1
Reading Community High School 2
Revere High School 2
Ross High School 1
Solon High School 1
Springfield HS 1
Springfield HS 3
St Ignatius High School 2
St Xavier High School 2
Sylvania Southview HS 1
Talawanda HS 1
Warren HS 2
West Jefferson HS 1

 


Rules Changes

 

 Summary of 2023-2024 Rule Changes

 

 2023-2024 Rules Redlined

 


Team Registration Cost

 
Member Rate per team* Non-Member Rate per team*
$170 $265

 

*Schools are limited to a maximum of three teams for the 2023-2024 competition. Please refer to the Mock Trial rules for more information. 

 


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

 

Professional Development

2023 Mock Trial Conference

 

23 MT Conference

 
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 4th Annual Mock Trial Conference! Please refer to your confirmation email for information about session recordings. We hope to see you again next year!

 


Mock Trial Conference Cost

 

In-Person Day 1

$50

*In-Person Day 1 & Day 2

$75

Recordings Only

$25

 

*Day 2 is only available to Introduction to Mock Trial Attendees who also attend Day 1. 


If you are interested in learning more about Ohio High School Mock Trial, please contact Danielle Wilmot (dwilmot@oclre.org). 

 

Annual Lori Urogdy Eiler Award    Award Winner Envelope Graphic

The Eiler Award for Mock Trial Coaching Excellence is named in honor of Lori Eiler, retired teacher and former mock trial advisor at Shaw High School in East Cleveland. Every year, mock trial students nominate advisors who, like Lori, connect with and challenge them to achieve individual personal best.

Presented annually, the Lori Urogdy Eiler Award recognizes an Ohio Mock Trial teacher, legal advisor, volunteer or administrator whose dedication and selflessness in giving their time, as well as their knowledge and skills, makes a difference in the lives of students. Eligible candidates are those who regularly inspire and motivate teams to outstanding performance, while also modeling civility and holding their students accountable for the same. Candidates demonstrate an ability to connect with team members as individuals, helping them to overcome obstacles to success and leading them to achieve an individual "personal best." Nominations are reviewed and voted on by the OCLRE Board of Trustees and the award will be presented at the Fall Mock Trial Conference, typically held in September.

 

2023 Eiler Award

Eiler Award 23

Trophy for the 2023 Eiler Award winner, Andy Janig.

 

The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is pleased to name Reading Jr/Sr High School teacher Andy Janig as the recipient of the 2023 Eiler Award for Mock Trial Coaching Excellence! Janig was officially honored at the 4th Annual Mock Trial Conference on September 25th at the Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus.


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