September 16, 2020 at 10:25 am

OHIO Mock Trial Selects 2020-21 Team Members for Virtual Competition

Virtual mock trial practice

Virtual mock trial practice

The Ohio University Mock Trial Team has selected 21 students to compete during the 2020-21 academic year. The students expect to take advantage of virtual competition to bond as a team and compete without travel expenses, including a competition “at” the University of Illinois invitational.

Tryouts for the team occurred on Sept. 9 and 10. Students were required to prepare and deliver a three-minute speech on a selected topic. At the conclusion of their prepared remarks, students were given a topic and required to deliver an extemporaneous speech. This year, students were also asked to become familiar with a witness statement so that students more interested in character development as witnesses would have an opportunity to display their skills. The Mock Trial Executive Board along with coach and attorney-adviser CLJC Pre-Law Adviser Larry Hayman worked to select students for the team.

“I am so excited to welcome all of my teammates, new and returning, to the Mock Trial Team. Each member was chosen because of their clear preparation, dedication, and analytical ability. I anticipate that we will be able to work together to encourage, support, and push each other as we prepare our case presentations,” said Mock Trial President Ellen Gill, a junior English Pre-Law and Sociology-Criminology dual major with a Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture.

This is the sixth year for the Ohio University Mock Trial Team, a student organization affiliated with the Center for Law, Justice & Culture. The team competes with other teams from 350 colleges in the American Mock Trial Association, including teams from Ohio State, Miami University, University of Dayton, Case Western Reserve University, and more.

Mock Trial is open to students from all majors and interests. Participation on the team helps students to develop public speaking skills, team building skills, critical thinking skills, and professionalism.

Nick Bohuslawsky delivers the Prosecuting Closing Argument to the jury

Prosecution team competes in Columbus.

“I believe that we have an incredibly talented team going into this season, and I can’t wait to see everyone blossom into their roles. Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented, I’m looking forward to building relationships with our new team members,” said Mock Trial New Member Coordinator Jane Roche, a sophomore studying Political Science Pre-Law.

During a competition, teams are asked to develop and present a case from witness statements and evidence. Team members act as both lawyers and witnesses to present direct examinations, cross examinations, opening statements, and closing statements.

Students selected for the 2020-2021 Mock Trial team are:

  • Micaela Beatham-Garcia, a junior studying Political Science Pre-Law and Global Studies
  • Nick Bohuslawsky, a sophomore studying Political Science Pre-Law
  • Diamond Brooks, a junior studying HTC Political Science
  • Brianna Donald, a sophomore studying Philosophy Pre-Law with a minor in Sociology
  • Michael Ferris, a junior studying Communication and World Religions
  • Hailey Gifford, a sophomore studying Political Science Pre-Law and Spanish
  • Ellen Gill, a junior student studying English Pre-Law and Sociology Criminology with a certificate in Law, Justice & Culture
  • Daniela Grijalva, a senior studying Latin American Studies and Political Science with a minor in Anthropology
  • Ali Gucwa, a junior majoring in Environmental Pre-Law and Urban Planning
  • Hannah Louck, a freshman majoring History and Sociology
  • Jorden Milliken, a senior studying Psychology and Sociology Criminology with a Certificate in Forensic Studies
  • Trinity Mixon, a junior studying Political Science Pre-Law
  • Joshua Olivito, a freshman studying Political Science Pre-Law
  • Casey Patterson, a freshman Political Science major
  • Sarah Ladipo, a sophomore student majoring in Philosophy
  • Jonas Lincoln Schaaf, a sophomore studying Sociology
  • Jane Roche, a sophomore majoring in Political Science Pre-Law
  • Emma Scharstein, a freshman studying Forensic Chemistry
  • Colin Schilf, a freshman studying HTC Physics
  • Makayla Walter, a freshman studying English Pre-Law
  • Nicole Ward, a freshman student studying Political Science Pre-Law

While generally the team travels to compete across the Midwest, the global pandemic has moved the competition online this year.

“Though there will be challenges associated with the virtual platform, there will be many opportunities as well,” said Hayman. “For example, we will be competing in the University of Illinois’ mock trial invitational in January 2021 without having to travel to Champaign-Urbana. Being online also provides different opportunities for teaching the complex legal theories and strategies related to the case.”

The team will spend the next several preparing for several scrimmages in front of OHIO alumni attorneys and in invitational tournaments in preparation for their first regional tournament in February 2021.

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