Mock trial is worth a look


Mrs. Montgomery

Mock Trial All Stars from left to right: Coach Rinear, Jake Rinear, Nick Feldman, Coach O’Connell

Of the many clubs and organizations available at Elder few of them offer greater credentials than the Mock Trial Team. Some of the sponsors of the Mock Trial organization in Ohio are the Ohio Supreme Court, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Ohio Attorney General. With these credentials come some pretty impressive college resumes for those who are willing to put forth the effort.

So what is the Mock Trial team, and what do they do?  Each year around this time every team in the state of Ohio gets the same case. We look over the facts of the case, the witnesses, and the legal battle from both sides. You can either be an attorney, or a witness. Both the attorneys and witnesses learn the same information. They learn the legal battles, case information, and witness pros and cons.

We go to The University of Cincinnati College of Law for a tournament every year to compete against schools all around Ohio. This past year I won an Outstanding Attorney Award from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. We also go downtown to the Hamilton County Court House to plead our case to judges and attorneys all around Ohio for district competitions. If, and by that I mean when, we move onto regional competitions we go to the Clermont County Court House to plead our case there.

As a witness you are an actor, you become the character. You have to think, talk, act, and dress like your character. I spoke to senior Patrick Haley, one of our best witnesses, to ask what it takes to be a good witness.

“Well Mrs. Montgomery guides us in the portrayals of our characters, which really helps,” he said.

The attributes of a good witness are “patience, a hardworking attitude, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to really get in your role.” Patrick has won three outstanding witness awards in three years being on the Mock Trial team.

As attorneys you literally become an attorney. You learn the lingo, laws, legal terms, objections, and both legal battles. Our main legal teachers are both attorneys; Mr. Rinear and Mr. O’Connell. Both Mr. Rinear and Mr. O’Connell are friendly, knowledgeable, and approachable. They treat you like an adult, by giving you advice and guiding you in your legal pursuits. Sophomore Jake Rinear joined last year as a freshman and really excelled in everything he did. He won an Outstanding Witness Award at district competitions, and at the end of the year earned one of two scholarships awarded this year for Elder Mock Trial students.

“I joined because I knew somebody,” said Rinear.  As with anyone he was a little hesitant at first, but now looking back on it he has advice for all of you, “Give it a try… It’s a lot of fun.”

If you are truly interested in the legal profession you need to seriously consider the Mock Trial team. Many people who have gone through the program have become attorneys. It is a great way to get started in your legal pursuits. Even if you are unsure and not settled on that profession yet it’s a great place to get started.

It could be the club for you if you like politics, debating, law shows, drama, performances, and friendships. Or if you feel like you’re always right, if you are competitive and like to compete against other schools.

If you are interested in honing your public speaking skills, or helping your college resume.

If you feel you have what it takes to EARN a 1000 DOLLAR SCHOLARSHIP to ELDER. Then Elder’s Mock Trial Team is for you!