(Feb. 9, 2017) –
Following a district competition in which more than 3,000 Ohio
high school students competed, approximately 1,000 students (representing 110
teams) will compete this Friday, Feb. 10, in the regional level of the
Ohio Center for Law-Related Education
’s (OCLRE) 34th Annual Ohio
Mock Trial Competition.
In the 2017 Ohio Mock Trial case, Pat Justice v. CAT News et
, students will consider a case of defamation of a public official by a news
station. In the fictitious case, Governor Pat Justice speaks at a school
assembly. Afterward, he meets with the school principal, and an argument
ensues. Governor Justice leaves abruptly, and the principal is found dead from
a brain aneurysm. A student who overheard the argument reports to a local news
outlet that Governor Justice killed the principal. While the student’s account
is quickly disproven, the story goes viral. The governor loses a bid for
reelection and files civil suit against the news station, alleging defamation.
Each Ohio Mock Trial
team consists of five to eleven students who assume the roles of witnesses and
attorneys to present both sides of an original case based on a constitutional
issue. Each team will compete in two trials against opposing teams.
Regional winners will
compete in the State Competition on March 9-11 in Columbus. The 2017 State
Champion will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial
Championship in Hartford, Connecticut on May 11-13.
OCLRE is a private
non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by
developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system.
OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General, Ohio
State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio
Foundation. The Ohio Mock Trial program is funded in part by a grant from the
Ohio State Bar Foundation