Announcements In the News Students in the News

November 5, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Mock Trial Team Competes at Scarlet and Gray Invitational

The Ohio University Mock Trial Team sent one team to the Franklin County Court of Common pleas to compete in the Ohio State University Scarlet and Gray Invitational. The competition took place on October 27-28.

The members were divided into two sides: plaintiff and defense. Over the weekend, each side participated in two trials for a total of four rounds. Two judges, one of whom acted as the presiding judge throughout the trial, scored each trial.

Lillian Mattimoe, a junior studying Political Science and Criminology and the Mock Trial Secretary added, “We all invested a lot of time and effort into preparing for this invitational, and I’m really proud of the work we did. I am very proud of everyone and can’t wait to begin preparing for regionals!”

Members of the team were required to try out in early September. Students were asked to prepare a five-minute speech, and to be familiar with a witness statement. Finally, they were given an extemporaneous topic and three minutes to make an argument. Twenty-four students were selected to participate on the team during the 2018-2019 school year.

Members were then assigned to roles as attorneys, witnesses, or both. Witnesses are responsible for being familiar with their respective affidavit or deposition, creating a character, as well as working with their attorney to prepare a direct examination and prepare for cross-examination. Attorneys are responsible for crafting opening and closing statements, being familiar with the rules of evidence to prepare for objections, and working with witnesses to practice both direct and cross examinations.

Students who were not competing were required to observe two rounds of competition in order to further their understanding of how a mock trial functions. Gabrielle Tharp, a senior studying Political Science and History and the Mock Trial Vice President commented, “This case is a lot of fun to work with, so I really enjoyed participating in the tournament this weekend. It is also really important to get new members familiar with the idea of participating in a trial, so they will be more comfortable when they have to do it in the spring.”

The team competes under the umbrella of the American Mock Trial Association, which is made up of over 600 teams from 350 colleges and universities. The case this year involves a civil negligence suit and countersuit surrounding a chimpanzee attack during a pre-show rehearsal for a television show that resulted in the death of a writer, cancellation of the show, and the closing of an animal sanctuary.

Taryn Osborne, a senior studying Political Science and the Mock Trial President said, “I’m very proud of how hard our team worked in preparation for this weekend. We got to see what other teams have been doing with the case, and it was a great opportunity to try out strategies to figure out what works and what doesn’t moving forward. Also, our new members got to see what mock trial looks like and what a competition weekend looks like. Overall, I think it put us in a really great position moving forward in our season and looking towards regionals in February.”

The Mock Trial Team is coached by Pre-Law Specialist Larry Hayman of the Ohio University Center for Law, Justice & Culture.

A photo of the competing mock trial invitational team. From left: Gabrielle Tharp, Ellen Gill, Lillian Mattimoe, Kristin Tate, Taryn Osborne, Ryan Crowley, Amal Afyouni, Lydia Wendel.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *