Ohio high school students “appeal” to judges in OCLRE Moot Court Competition

COLUMBUS (May 4, 2017) - The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) will host its fourth annual high school Moot Court Competition May 5 at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. Students will take on the role of appellate attorneys and argue both sides of an original case.

More than 100 students representing the following schools from across the state will participate: Danville High School (Holmes County); Gilmour Academy (Lake County); Indian Hill High School (Hamilton County); Kenton High School (Hardin County); Marysville High School (Union County); Springfield High School (Clark County); Sycamore High School (Hamilton County); Upper Arlington High School (Franklin County); Village Academy (Delaware County); and William Mason High School (Warren County).

The 2017 Moot Court case follows the aftermath of a school prank gone wrong. When beloved mascot Harry the honey badger disappeared from Harrison High School, a series of mysterious social media posts indicated that Harry had been on a tour of Ohio’s tourist destinations. Desperate to bring Harry home, the school principal used cell phone data to find geo-tagged photos. The convicted student, Tracy Matthews, claims that the school violated her Fourth Amendment rights by searching her photos, and the school believes it followed school policies in this Fourth amendment case.  

Teams will compete in both a legal brief-writing phase, and an oral argument phase to test their skills as appellate advocates. The championship round of oral arguments will be streamed live on the Ohio Channel website beginning at 4:15 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

Kenton High School students are competing in Moot Court for the first time. “Our students decided to compete in OCLRE's moot court competition after their overwhelmingly positive experience in OCLRE's mock trial competition. [They] are extremely excited to argue their appellate brief at the Ohio Supreme Court—to be able to participate in legal arguments in our state's highest court is truly an honor and opportunity of a lifetime," said advisor, Christina Q. Cross, Esq.

Justice Patrick Fischer of the Supreme Court of Ohio will preside over the final round of competition. Fellow panelists will include Michael J. Hendershot, Chief Deputy Solicitor for the Office of the Ohio Attorney General; Samuel Peterson, Deputy Solicitor for the Office of the Ohio Attorney General; Tiffany Carwile, Assistant Attorney General in the Constitutional Offices Section; Nikki Baszynski, Assistant State Public Defender in the Office of the Ohio Public Defender; and Christopher Walker, Associate Professor of Law for the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University, and Benjamin Tracy, staff attorney for the 10th District Court of Appeals.

The 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 funded by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information about the OCLRE and the Moot Court program, visit www.oclre.org.


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