Moot Court

 

Moot Court

About Moot Court

Moot Court focuses on the appellate court process and is designed to provide students the opportunity to present a simulated oral argument and respond to questions posed by a panel of volunteer judges. Arguments are evaluated on the application of the law to the facts of the case.

Moot Court also gives many students their first experience in legal writing by allowing participants to compose a legal brief related to their arguments that will be reviewed and scored by volunteer attorneys. By focusing on the applicability of Constitutional law to current legal issues, students get an opportunity to strengthen critical thinking skills and increase their understanding of the Constitution and judicial system.

For more information, please contact Ryan Suskey at rsuskey@oclre.org or call (614) 485-3506.

Moot Court Case Files

Each year OCLRE creates an original case file that challenges students to tackle contemporary legal issues. Cases always include at least one constitutional law issue and an additional constitutional or statutory interpretation issue.

 

2024 Moot Court Case File Now Available to Order

We’re giving Julie Jenkins her turn at justice! Back in 2020, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic meant the cancellation of the in-person Moot Court Tournament. In 2024, we are revisiting this case and giving students a chance to finally weigh-in on what should happen in Julie Jenkins v. State of Buckeye, a case about campaign infiltration and the First Amendment.

 

 

In order to help us gauge how many teams to expect at the competition, we are asking all teams interested in competing to complete the case order form. If you previously purchased the case in 2019/2020, it will be sent to you with updates at no cost.

 

Order HERE!

 


Previous Cases

 

Looking for a past case file? Contact Ryan Suskey at rsuskey@oclre.org to inquire about any of the case files listed below:

    • 2023 – Austin Jones v. State of Buckeye
      Austin Jones, formally the high school class president at Honey Badger High School and now a college student, was asked to plan his five-year class reunion. Notorious during his high school career for his pranks, Jones took the party planning in full stride, ordering food and booking entertainment and rental space. His last task in planning was the ultimate party prank: stuffing a pinata full of marijuana chocolate. On his way to the event, Jones is arrested during a routine traffic stop, after the smell of marijuana coming from the car prompted a search by the police officer. Jones argued that the search was unreasonable and conducted without probable cause. Students will consider whether the search was constitutional based on Jones’s Fourth Amendment rights and whether the amount of marijuana Jones possessed resulted in the appropriate offense. Moot Court requires students to look at both sides of these exciting legal questions and to practice their advocacy skills before a mock Supreme Court!  

 

    • 2022 – State of Buckeye v Kat Hood
      The 2022 Ohio Moot Court Case File asks students to grapple with the Fourth Amendment and the challenges of balancing public safety and individual rights. The case centers on 18 year old student Kat Hood and an interaction with a police officer in which a shouted accusation from a crowded food court leads to a search of Kat's belongings. Students will consider whether the novelty crossbow Kat carries qualifies as a "deadly weapon" under the meaning of Buckeye Revised Code, and whether a shouted accusation by an unidentified bystander creates sufficient probable cause for the officer to search Kat's bag. Moot Court requires students to look at both sides of these exciting legal questions and to practice their advocacy skills before a mock Supreme Court.

 

    • 2021 – State of Buckeye v Guillermo Ronaldo
      Sixteen-year-old Guillermo Ronaldo—known as Guile—is a kicker for the Honey Badgers football team. During the final game of the season, Guile is involved in a racially charged altercation with an opponent after some unsportsmanlike conduct that leads Guile to punch the opposing player. On Guile’s way home from the football game, he is picked up by police. During interrogation, Guile admits to hitting the defensive end—after which the detective informs him that the player has died. Guile is convicted of murder. Although he appeals, his conviction is affirmed. Guile is now challenging his conviction in the Supreme Court of Buckeye. Moot Court teams will argue whether Guile’s conduct fits the crime of murder under the statute and whether Guile voluntarily waived his rights and offered a voluntary confession.

 

    • 2020 – State of Buckeye v Julie Jenkins
      Julie Jenkins, a high school journalist, has recently hired as a writer for the online journal Fueling Our Future, covering the upcoming primary election for governor of Buckeye. Suspecting that one of the candidates is being less than truthful about their campaign promises, she signs up to volunteer for the campaign where she overhears the candidate on the phone and realizes that she was right. After posting on social media about what she heard, Julie was charged with and found guilty of the crime of Campaign Infiltration. Although she appealed, her conviction was affirmed. Julie is now challenging her conviction in the Supreme Court of Buckeye. Moot Court teams will argue on behalf of both sides as to whether Julie's conduct violated the statute under which she is charged and whether the statute impacts Julie's rights under the First Amendment.

 

    • 2019 – State of Buckeye v Ozzy Mercury
      Aspiring rocker, Ozzy Mercury, when he’s not touring, lives alone in a motor home he inherited from his mom. He parks it on a little-used public road behind an abandoned department store and takes advantage of some of the sewer, water, and electrical hookups. But since it’s not the best area of town, Ozzy bought a pistol for protection. One day, he was practicing his guitar, and someone banged on the door. He answered the door, gun in hand, only to find the police. He narrowly avoided being shot by the surprised officer; however, he could not avoid being convicted of a felony for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Mercury will argue that the particular characteristics of the pistol, how he possessed, and where he possessed it means he didn’t actually violate the statute. Second, he will argue that even if he did violate the statute, the statute, as it’s being applied to him in this case, violates his rights under the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

 

    • 2018 – United States v Cado Toste
      Cado Toste, an 18-year-old senior at Buckeye High School in Harmony, brings an appeal of his conviction for material support of a terrorist organization. Toste was charged and convicted based on actions he took on his YouTube channel to promote and support the work of Oakenfist, an environmental group labelled a terrorist organization by the U.S. Government. In his challenge, Toste alleges that his conduct (creating YouTube videos praising Oakenfist, liking/sharing Oakenfist content, etc.) does not meet the statutory definition of material support, or in the alternative, is protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Students advocating in this case will argue on behalf of both Toste and the U.S. to persuade a mock Supreme Court as to how the case should be handled.

 

    • 2017 – Tracy Matthews v State of Ohio
      Harry the Honey Badger, mascot of Harrison High School, is stolen from the school. Pictures of Harry show up on social media from different sites across Ohio. The principal was determined to find out which student is responsible for these shenanigans. The closest the school administrators could come to matching the thief group identity is with the Harrison Hooplas, the high school comedy club. Using the school’s policy allowing administration to search students’ cell phones, the principal called all Hoopla members to the office and searched the phones. While all had pictures on the phone, only Matthews had the pictures with the exact geotagged time and location for the photos. Matthews is appealing based on the search was a violation of his Fourth Amendment protections as well as the validity of the consent via the school policy.

 

    • 2016 – In Re S.S.
      Sarah Stewart has just started high school at Grassland Valley High and is hoping to make a name for herself by recreating a prank her older sister once played on a rival high school. Inadvertently, Sarah caused more damage than intended, and ruined the rival’s field days before their homecoming game. Sarah is questioned at her school by the principal, but with the uniformed school resource officer present. Stewart was later arrested and adjudicated as delinquent. Students in this year’s High School Moot Court case will explore Sarah’s rights during this interrogation, and the impact these rights might have on the outcome of her case.

 

    • 2015 – Samuel Bennett Fields v State of Franklin
      Samuel Fields is a member, lead singer, and writes music for the band Don’t Tread, whose message is strongly anti-government and song lyrics advocate committing acts of violence. Fields is also associated with a group of about fifty anti-government activists dubbed the Smallville Militia. The Militia engages in military-style training exercises, acquires firearms illegally, and engages in various acts of vandalism against government property. Fields was eventually caught and convicted of breaking and entering and criminal vandalism when caught at Town Hall with cans of spray paint and making paint lines over the front entryway. Fields was sentenced to jail with an added enhancement to the sentences because the court found Fields committed the crimes “while participating in a criminal gang” in violation of state law. Fields challenged the gang enhancement that the state failed to prove either the band or the Smallville Militia meets the statutory definition of a criminal gang. Fields also challenges the statute is unconstitutional as it infringes upon his right to association.

 

    • 2014 – Charlie Charleston v State of Ohio
      As Charlie Charleston parks his car on the street in front of his parents’ house on a snowy December night, he exits to get a bag from the trunk. Charleston is startled by a man wearing a ski mask, dark clothing, and a shovel. Charleston pulls a gun and threatens the man that he will shoot. In an attempt to stop, the man slips on ice. Charleston interprets this as attempt to strike him with the shovel and fires at the believed assailant. Charleston leaves the scene, but ultimately reports the occurrence to the police. Charleston returns to the scene, is confronted by the police and placed under arrest and held in the police cruiser. The police search Charleston’s car and find an iPad in plain sight that was on and not password protected. The officers found a document containing some sort of “hit list” that included the dead man. Charleston is charged with murder. On appeal, Charleston is challenging the motion to suppress evidence from the iPad after a warrantless search and the trial court improperly decided his immunity under the state’s Stand Your Ground statute.

Moot Court 

2024 Moot Court State Competition 

 

The 2024 Moot Court State Competition will be held on Friday April 12, 2024 at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus, OH. More information will be released soon.

Questions about the competition? Contact Ryan Suskey at rsuskey@oclre.org or call (614) 485-3506. 


Team Registration Pricing

 

 

Member Rate

Non-Member Rate 

1 Team:

$50

$95

2 Teams:

$100

$190

Brief-only:

$25

$75




Please contact Ryan Suskey at rsuskey@oclre.org or (614) 485-3506 for addition information or questions.

Moot Court Professional Development

Constitution Camp 2023

 

Last fall, attendees of the Constitution Camp 2023 experienced insightful sessions led by specialists delving into crucial themes surrounding the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Understanding the Appellate Process, all with a distinct Ohio perspective. The expert-led discussions were intertwined with effective teaching strategies tailored to bring these topics alive in classrooms, and the sessions also focused on the We the People and Moot Court programs and their intersections with the Constitution.

Our sincere thanks to our Constitution Camp scholars Professor Marc Spindelman (Isadore and Ida Topper Professor of Law at The OSU Moritz College of Law) and Professor Atiba Ellis (Laura B. Chisholm Distinguished Research Scholar and Fiske Lecturer at CWRU School of Lawfor sharing their time and expertise with the teachers!

 

Details about the 2024 Constitution Camp will be released at the start of the school year in September

 


2023 Workshop Agenda

 

Tuesday, November 28 - Substantive Due Process and Unenumerated Rights

9:00 am

Registration Opens; Light Breakfast Provided

9:30 am

Welcome, Introductions

9:45 am

Content Session: Identifying the Issue in Court Opinions

10:30 am

 

Substantive Due Process Overview

Professor Marc Spindelman, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

NOON

Lunch (provided)

12:30 pm

Authentic Assessment Model: Moot Court in the Classroom

1:15 pm

Moot Court Preparation

2:30 pm

Moot Court Simulation

3:00 pm

Debrief & Dismiss

 

Wednesday, November 29 - Voting Rights in the Modern Era

8:30 am

Registration Opens; Light Breakfast Provided

9:00 am

 

The VRA: History, Present, and Future

Professor Atiba Ellis, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

10:30 am

Pedagogy Session: Civil Conversation Model around Voting Rights

11:00 am

Pedagogy Session: The Social Mixer

NOON

Lunch (provided)

12:30 pm

Authentic Assessment: What is We the People

1:15 pm

Authentic Assessment: Hearing Preparation

2:30 pm

Authentic Assessment: Simulated Congressional Hearing

3:30 pm

Debrief & Dismiss

 


Constitution Camp Cost

 

In-Person Day 1:

$50

In-Person Day 1 & Day 2:

$75

 

For any inquiries or clarifications, please contact Ryan Suskey (rsuskey@oclre.org) or call (614) 485-3506

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