Sylvania Southview team places third in National Mock Trial Competition

Contact: Lisa Eschleman; Executive Director, Ohio Center for Law-Related Education; LEschleman@oclre.org; 614-485-3500

COLUMBUS (May 14, 2014) – Ohio’s 2014 Mock Trial State champions Sylvania Southview again dominated, placing third overall in the National Mock Trial Competition, hosted in Madison, Wis., May 8-10. The Sylvania Southview team’s third-place finish marks the first time in more than two decades that an Ohio team has placed among the top ten teams at the National Mock Trial Competition.
 
During the competition, the Sylvania Southview students were required to represent both the plaintiff and defendant in a fictional civil action in which the owner of an energy drink business is found dead after a night out with friends. Although the man’s business partner is found not guilty in a criminal court, the decedent’s estate pursues a civil claim against the partner.

Team legal advisor Dennis Lyle reported that the team demonstrated mastery of the case materials, completing four rounds with an unbeaten record. “Heartbreakingly,” he said, “Southview lost the second tiebreaker and did not advance to the finals. Along the way, Southview beat Rhode Island, Mississippi, Oregon and perennial power-house and home state favorite, Wisconsin.”
 
Ohio Mock Trial is a program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) and is among the nation’s largest mock trial programs. More than 3,500 students participate each year, and approximately 1,000 legal professionals volunteer to serve as judges and team advisors. Each year, OCLRE writes an original case based on a relevant constitutional issue. Students must prepare both prosecution and defense cases. Mock Trial is designed to educate students about their rights as citizens and to help them develop critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills.
 
The three-day state competition culminates with a final round that is held at the Ohio Statehouse. The championship team advances to represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Championship.
 
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. The Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation sponsor the Center.  The Ohio Mock Trial program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information about the Center, please call (877) 485-3510 or visit www.oclre.org.
 
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