Ohio Mock Trial offers an innovative approach to learning about law and how our legal system functions. Guided by teachers and volunteer legal advisors, students participate in an original, unscripted simulated trial written by attorneys. High school students argue both sides of the case in real courtrooms across the state. The state finals are held in the Ohio Statehouse, and the winner advances to the national competition.
Students have the opportunity to learn from practicing attorneys and attorneys have an opportunity to share their expertise about the law and their legal skills.
Mock Trial teams, consisting of six to twelve students, a teacher/coach, and an attorney/coach, receive a fictional case in September. Each team must learn both sides of the case and students must play the roles of both attorneys and witnesses. Teams work together to learn the facts of the case and create strategies for trial.
AJ Bryant has attended the medieval fair in Buckeye, Harmony for several years, and is hoping that this year’s archer costume is authentic enough to win the costume contest. AJ is attending the fair with a friend, Sam Jones, who lives near the fairgrounds. As they are walking to the fair, the pair stop at a convenience store and while inside, AJ causes a disturbance while playing in character with a bow and arrow. The store owner calls the police, and as Officer Green arrives on the scene, he finds Sam and AJ arguing in the parking lot. AJ pulls out his bow and arrow, and Officer Green makes the decision to use deadly force to prevent further harm.
Officer Green is charged with felonious assault and the case has been bifurcated; the Court will first hear testimony on Defendant’s affirmative defense that the use of deadly force was justified. This case will explore the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures as it applies to the use of force by an officer to deter or eliminate the threat of harm to the public and officer.Read the Case Here
Team members coaches and advisors commit many hours to the Mock Trial Team. Practices are held two to three times per week as well as on weekends. Team members are expected to dedicate up to twenty hours per week for practices and home preparation.
In our first year of the rebirth of the Walnut Hills Mock Trial Team, the team placed third in the regional competition, qualifying for the state tournament.
Eight team members won awards for best attorney and best witness during last year's competition.
One of our two graduates went on to Ohio State majoring in Pre-Law.
Anna Mallory has been practicing since 2004. Her career has been dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal defense and she has trial experience ranging from traffic offenses to murder. Ms. Mallory was named to Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in 2010, 2012, and 2013.
Ms. Underwood is a 1996 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law and was admitted to practice in Ohio in 1997. Ms. Underwood has been employed with the Hamilton County Public Defender's Office since April 2008, starting as a municipal court staff attorney in 2008 and was promoted to the felony staff in January 2012.
Jim Moore received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1972. Recently retired, Jim is a civil trial attorney and for the past forty-plus years his law practice has focused on employment law and construction claim disputes involving architects, engineers and general contractors.
Ms. Stefanou is a 2015 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law and 2012 graduate of the Carl H. Lindner Honors Plus business program. Ms Stefanou is currently employed with the Hamilton County Public Defender's office.
Mr. Brady is a 1982 graduate of Princeton University and a 1999 graduate of the McGregor School at Antioch Universtiy. He has been teaching for 27 years-24 with the Cincinnati Public Schools. He is a National Board Certified English Language Arts teacher.
Mr. Stefanou is a 1983 graduate of the University of Cincinnati. He has been teaching for 31 years with the the Cincinnati Public Schools. Mr. Stefanou was nominated for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching in 2013.
Mr. Harris is a 7th grade Social Studies teacher. A native New Yorker, he earned his B.A. in Political Communication in 1986 and Masters in Secondary Education in 1992 at Queens College, C.U.N.Y. He's been teaching middle school for 29 years, 23 in CPS, and the last 4 at Walnut Hills.
Mr. Brokamp has been principal at Walnut Hills since 2007 and was a former Assistant Superintendent, a Principal at Crest Hills, School for Creative and Performing Arts and Mt. Washington Elementary School. Mr. Brokamp is an alumnus of Walnut Hills.