Court's in session in BG for 3,500 students across Ohio PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Thursday, 31 January 2013 10:17
More than 3,500 students from 180 high schools across Ohio will test their court and trial skills as they compete in the 30th annual Ohio Mock Trial District Competition.
Sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, the competition allows students to assume the roles of attorneys and witnesses as they learn about the constitution and their rights as citizens.
It's the largest high school mock trial program in the nation. This year's mock trial case will analyze an individual's rights under the Fifth Amendment regarding improper confessions.
For Northwest Ohio teams, the competition will be Friday at 12:30 p.m. for the first round and 3 p.m. for the second round.
The event will be held in the Wood County Courthouse.
Four teams from Perrysburg Court Law & Government Explorer Post 2306 are participating in the annual statewide mock trial competition.
Teams The Flaming Ostriches and The Irish Warriors will be competing at the Wood County Courthouse. Teams The Melting Ice Cubes and The Paisley Dragons are traveling to the Hancock County Courthouse in Findlay.
Attorneys Peter R. Casey III, Kent Riesen, Dan Weiss and Judge S. Dwight Osterud are coaches for the teams.
Assisting in coaching are Attorney Adam Nowland, third-year University of Toledo law student Jake Studer, Explorer alumni Krista Huff, drama consultant Pinky Edens and teaching adviser Dr. Beth Rohrbacher.
This year's team members include Team Casey's "The Melting Ice Cubes": Madeline Burke, Emily Cottle, Ross Grilliot, Benjamin Hirt, Steven Hugg, Kaity Laumann, Alex Miller, Joseph Rakowski and Clara Thornberry.
Members of Team Osterud "The Flaming Ostriches" are: Devin Bilski, Nathanial Dobbs, Savannah Guy, Mahnur Khan, Alison Kopp, Meric Pope, Noah Rossler and Henry Yang.
Members of Team Riesen "The Paisley Dragons" are: John Gadient, Michael Gerber, Abdurrafey Khan, Alex Leong, Will Robinson, Nick Rossler, Irsyad Sjah and Niara Williams.
Members of Team Weiss "The Irish Warriors" are: Eryn Doyle, Megan Galle, Alex Katko, Michael Kepner, Huan Liang, Sam Malhas, Ryan McConnell, Zach McKenna, Alexandra Phlegar and Nisarg Shah.
While not all mock trial competitors are aspiring to study the legal profession, OCLRE president Lisa Eschleman said the students gain critical thinking, reading, public speaking and listening skills by participating in the event.
The teams will consist of up to 11 students who are required to prepare for both the prosecution and defense of the constitutional case and will compete against two different teams.
District winners from throughout the state will advance to the regional competition on Feb. 22.
The state finals are March 7-9 in Columbus. The state winner will compete in the national competition May 9-11 in Indianapolis.
The Perrysburg Court Explorers have participated in mock trial since 2003.
In this year's case, a high school sophomore is suspected of setting a fire at the school that resulted in the death of a maintenance worker.
The police then engage in a lengthy interrogation process that involves driving to the scene of the crime and the victim's home as well as various interrogation techniques.
Late in the day, the defendant makes a statement claiming responsibility for the fire and is subsequently charged with Murder and Arson. However, the defendant later recants the confession.
The defendant has alleged that the statements were improperly coerced by the police in violation of the Fifth and 14th Amendments and filed a motion to suppress.

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