Mock Trial

What is Mock Trial?
Mock Trial helps high school students develop a deeper understanding of the law through a lively competition that begins in one of 32 district competitions. Depending on the scoring of each team’s work — including as lawyers presenting each side of a case, witnesses and jurors — the teams advance to regional, state and even national competition. Mock Trial includes:

  • 400 teams throughout the state, including 3,600 students
  • 900 volunteer judges and lawyers in Ohio, including more than 100 here in
  • Hamilton County
  • Three attorneys and “real life” judges who serve as judges for each pair of teams. One acts as presiding judge and two are scoring judges, all giving feedback to the teams as they present their cases.


In the 2017 case, Pat Justice v. CAT News et al., students will consider a case of defamation of a public official by a news station. Pat Justice recently ran for re-election as Governor of the state of Ohio. During the campaign, Trillium high school’s We the People club invited Governor Justice to speak during the lunch hour. Afterward, the Governor met with a student in the principal’s office. Principal I.M Veritas was a rival of Governor Justice in college, and once the two were alone, an argument began which ended with the Governor storming out. As the Governor left, Principal Veritas suffered a fatal brain aneurysm and died. A student reporter heard the argument and reported to a local news affiliate CAT News that the Governor had killed the principal. While it was disproven quickly, the story went viral. Governor Justice lost the election, and has now filed a civil suit against CAT News, alleging defamation. The former Governor will seek to prove that the station published the story with reckless disregard to the truth, and that the story damaged his/her reputation and cost him/her the election.

How to Volunteer
You can serve at one or both of the local sessions at the Hamilton County Courthouse on:
Jan. 19:   
Session I: 4 – 6 p.m.
Session II: 7 – 9 p.m.

Judges Training @ CBA: Jan. 13, Noon – 1 p.m.

All volunteers will receive materials in advance to learn the judging criteria. If you are interested in volunteering as a judge, please contact Jamie Shiverdecker at the Cincinnati Bar Association (513) 699-4013 or jls@cincybar.org.

New This Year!  
Hamilton County will be hosting students through the next step of the competition with a regional at the courthouse.  The event will be on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 and rounds will be from 1 – 3 p.m. and 4 – 6 p.m.  Please contact Jamie Shiverdecker if you are interested in signing up to judge at jls@cincybar.org

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