October 14, 2019 at 10:32 am

Mock Trial Team Heads to Columbus for Scarlet & Gray Invitational, Oct. 19-20

Members of the mock trial team at Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

The 20 students on the Ohio University Mock Trial team have each been preparing a case for trial in anticipation of the OSU Scarlet & Gray Invitational at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 19-20.

Ohio University Mock Trial consists of two teams—Green Team and White Team—each composed of 10 students. Each student was required to tryout for the team. The organization provides students with an interest in law the valuable experience of working with and preparing a case in a competitive courtroom setting.

The teams are required to prepare the case that they are provided by the American Mock Trial Association. This year, more than 600 teams from 350 colleges and universities in the United States will participate in AMTA’s tournaments. Each team member is assigned a part as either an attorney or a witness. Attorneys are required to develop a case theory, as well and developing direct and cross examination questions, creating opening statements and closing arguments, as well as learning the case law and rules of evidence. Witnesses are given the task of creating a character from the case and working with their attorney to develop their character and testimony.

OHIO Mock Trial’s two teams will both compete in four different trials. Each will have two trials on Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 16. Each side of the case, the prosecution and the defense, will perform twice over the course of two days.

Preparation for Competition

In order to prepare for the OSU Scarlet & Gray invitational, the two teams will scrimmage against one another on Thursday, Oct. 17. Athens County Municipal Court Judge Todd Grace generously allowed the team to use his courtroom at the Athens County Municipal Court.

“We are very excited that we are bringing two teams to invitationals this season,” said President Lydia Wendel, a senior studying Political Science Pre-Law with a minor in Anthropology with a certificate in Law, Justice & Culture. “This allows all students to gain exposure to Mock Trial competition and the experience of trying a case before actual legal professionals. We always have a lot of fun at Scarlet & Gray and I can’t wait to spend time with my teammates as we strengthen our case presentation.”

Similarly, New Member Coordinator Lori Turner, a third-year Political Science Pre-Law student is enthusiastic about competition and said, “I anticipate this invitational will be an excellent learning experience for all the new members, as well as our returners. I can’t wait to see what all of our members will do with this incredible experience.”

The Ohio University Mock Trial Invitational Team after the tournament

The Ohio University Mock Trial Invitational Team after a 2018 tournament.

“I am hopeful that all Mock Trial members walk away from our upcoming competition with a sense of pride in case and performance they have presented,” Secretary Ellen Gill, a second year study studying English Pre-Law and Criminology-Sociology, with a certificate in Law, Justice & Culture elaborated, “All students will gain experience presenting cogent arguments, using legal documents, and courtroom manner. These skills are invaluable for those pursuing a career in law.”

Micaela Beatham-Garcia, a second-year student majoring in Political Science Pre-Law and Global Studies, and first year team member, stated how the competition made her feel: “I’m nervous but I am incredibly eager to meet other Mock Trial teams as well as learn how other teams approached this case.”

“We have a great team with lots of new members who are surprising us with their thoughtfulness and critical thinking skills. I think we’ve got a great case with hard working attorneys and witnesses and will have a lot of fun next week!” said Kristin Tate, a senior in Political Science Pre-Law and certificate in Law, Justice & Culture.

The team is coached by attorney and Pre-Law Specialist Larry Hayman of the Ohio University Center for Law, Justice & Culture.  The team’s attendance at the competition is made possible, in part, with the support of the Ohio University College of Arts & Sciences.

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