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ONU to host sixth annual mock trial competition
Ohio Northern University’s mock trial program will host the sixth annual Polar Bear Invitational Mock Trial Tournament from Jan. 14-15. The competition will take place at ONU’s Pettit College of Law, Hill Building and Dukes Memorial. More than 400 students from 26 colleges and universities representing 25 states will participate in the tournament.
The tournament consists of four rounds, with trials taking place simultaneously in each round. Each mock trial has a panel of two judges who evaluate students on their knowledge of case material and presentation and litigation techniques. On Saturday, the first round of the competition begins at 10:30 a.m., and the next round begins at 4 p.m. On Sunday, the first round begins at 9:30 a.m., and the second begins at 2 p.m.
The tournament awards honors to the top teams as well as outstanding attorneys and witnesses.
The case this year, as assigned to each mock trial group by the American Mock Trial Association, is a criminal case involving a defendant charged with murder and driving under the influence.
Dr. JoAnn Scott, professor of political science and advisor of the ONU mock trial team, emphasized the benefits afforded to students involved in mock trial beyond awards and honors.
“At the ONU invitational, students get the chance to try a case against different regions, where legal norms are different,” Scott said. “Practice of this sort only adds to the mock trial experience. Since the majority of team members are considering law school, mock trial allows them to see if it’s really what they want to do.”
An invitational such as this one is just practice, Scott said. Teams gain experience and learn from their mistakes in order to prepare for regional and national competitions later in the year.
Members of the ONU team are Lisa Bradley, a junior political science major from Lisbon, Ohio; Amarilla Fair, a junior history major from Mercer, Pa.; Kelli Holbrook, a freshman general studies major from Lima, Ohio; Franklin Howard, a junior history major from Akron, Ohio; Lucy Jarvis, a senior accounting major from Bellefontaine, Ohio; Lauren Lightcap, a senior accounting major from West Milton, Ohio; Bill Metz, a sophomore political science major from Cincinnati, Ohio; Tabitha Moody, a senior biology major from Orwell, Ohio; Melody Smith, a senior criminal justice major from Westerville, Ohio; and JaMesha Williamson, a senior political science major from Lima, Ohio.