OCLRE to host inaugural high school Moot Court Competition

Contact: Lisa Eschleman, OCLRE Executive Director; LEschleman@oclre.org; 614-485-3510
COLUMBUS (May 19, 2014) - The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education will host the inaugural high school Moot Court Competition May 20 at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. Students will assume the role of appellate attorneys and argue both sides of an original case.
Seventy students representing the following 13 schools from across the state will participate: Archbishop Hoban High School (Summit County); Gilmour Academy (Lake County); Lake High School (Stark County); Marysville High School (Union County); Notre Dame Cathedral Latin (Cuyahoga County); Pleasant High School (Marion County); South Webster High School (Scioto County); Springfield High School (Clark County); St. Frances DeSales High School (Franklin County); Upper Arlington High School (Franklin County); Valley High School (Scioto County); Van Wert High School (Van Wert County); and Village Academy (Delaware County).
The Moot Court Competition focuses on the appellate court process. Students will present a simulated oral argument and respond to questions posed by a panel of judges. The competition also gives many students their first experience in legal writing. It requires them to compose legal briefs that are reviewed and scored by attorneys. Locating the competition at the Thomas J. Moyer Judicial Center, the home of the Supreme Court of Ohio, also provides students with an authentic culminating activity.
This year’s case focuses on the Fourth Amendment and a hypothetical new Ohio “stand your ground” law. According to the scenario, the defendant arrives home on a dark winter evening, sees another person approaching him, and shoots and kills the other person. Police search the defendant’s car and find evidence indicating that the defendant knew and intended to kill the victim. After the defendant is convicted of murder, he files an appeal, arguing that the search of his car was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights and that the shooting was justified by the “stand your ground” law.
During the competition, each student will present two oral arguments before a panel of three judges. All students are required to present the arguments on behalf of both the appellant and appellee. Scores from the oral arguments will be added to each team’s brief score to determine the 2014 Moot Court Champion. 
“We are very excited to bring this new and original program to Ohio students. The response from our teachers and students has exceeded our expectations for the first year of the competition,” said Lisa Eschleman, OCLRE executive director. She added, “Moot Court is a wonderful opportunity for students to improve their critical thinking and written argumentative skills.” 
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) is a 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’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. The Moot Court program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information about the Center, visit www.oclre.org.



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