Mock Trial Team selects 2023-24 members amid steep competition

Published: September 28, 2023 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University Mock Trial Team selected 20 students, including three first-year students, to form two teams for the 2023-24 academic year.

Both teams are preparing for their first competition at the Scarlet and Gray Invitational Tournament hosted by Ohio State University on Oct. 28-29.

Tryouts for the team occurred in early September. Students were required to write and memorize a prepared speech, deliver an extemporaneous speech, and answer direct examination questions about a previously provided witness statement.

“Competition was steep to join the team this year. We have 15 students returning to the team, as well as five new students,” said Larry Hayman, Esq., director of legal engagement and the pre-law program at the Center for Law, Justice and Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences and coach of the team. “We are looking forward to the start of the competition season.”

This is the ninth year for the Ohio University Mock Trial Team, a selective experiential learning competition affiliated with the Center for Law Justice and Culture. The team competes in the American Mock Trial Association with more than 700 other teams representing around 350 colleges and universities across the country.

Mock trial is a fully simulated courtroom experience in which students are taught to think and act as trial attorneys and witnesses for both the defense and prosecution sides, performing cross and direct examinations, opening and closing statements, and introducing evidence.

The 2023-24 OHIO Mock Trial team member are:

  • Elena Baker, a senior studying sociology-criminology
  • Ethan Barlett, a sophomore studying political science pre-law
  • Katie Buschle, a first-year student studying sociology
  • Damyria Collier, a sophomore studying philosophy pre-law
  • Julia Cooper, a sophomore studying sociology pre-law
  • Zach Donaldson, a junior studying political science
  • Emily Green, a sophomore studying sociology pre-law
  • Sydney Gross, a sophomore studying forensic chemistry
  • Mary Harte, a junior studying psychology and political science pre-law
  • Leighton Heiner, a junior studying philosophy
  • Karmen Kirker, a sophomore studying sociology pre-law
  • Birdy Korson, a first-year student studying English
  • Ayden McDougle, a sophomore studying political science pre-law
  • Patrick O’Leary, a first-year student studying political science pre-law and communications
  • Casey Patterson, a senior studying political science pre-law
  • Ava Poling, a sophomore studying political science pre-law and philosophy
  • Riley Sargent, a junior studying political science
  • Taylor Schneider, a junior studying communications
  • Megan Taylor, a senior studying history pre-law
  • Darryl Wright, a junior studying political science pre-law

The team will compete in several scrimmages and invitational tournaments over the coming months before mock trial alumni, law students and attorneys to prepare for the first regional tournament in February 2024.

“We have a lot of talent, and I am looking forward to how this season will unfold. This year's case has a lot of moving parts, but it is super intriguing and I have no doubt our teams will come up with some great theories for competition. I am excited to get to work!” said Megan Taylor, mock trial president and senior history major earning a Law, Justice and Culture Certificate