OHIO Mock Trial brings home Outstanding Attorney award from Columbus competition
Ohio University's two mock trial teams had a strong season debut at the annual Scarlet and Gray Invitational in Columbus, notching multiple victories over regional rivals and having Junior Zach Donaldson take home an outstanding attorney award.
November 22, 2023
Instead of dressing up as vampires or ghosts this Halloween, OHIO Mock Trial chose to suit up for court.
Ohio University's two mock trial teams had a strong season debut at Ohio State University’s annual Scarlet and Gray Invitational October 28-29, notching multiple victories over regional rivals and having Junior Zach Donaldson take home an Outstanding Attorney award.
Donaldson was recognized for his performance as the closing attorney for the prosecution. Responsible for delivering the direct examination of DNA analyst Mindy Nguyen, the cross examination of the defendant Poe Cameron, and presenting the closing argument and rebuttal, Donaldson ranked as the top attorney on three of four ballots and the second ranked attorney on the other, tying a tournament-high nineteen ranks.
This year’s case involves two defendants and a multi-pronged criminal indictment for conspiracy, grand theft, wire fraud, assault, and kidnapping after the heist of a high-profile charity gala.
"I am thrilled with my performance and super thankful for the advisory and support of my teammates and coaches," said Donaldson, a junior studying political science with a Law, Justice, and Culture Certificate and African American Studies minor in the Honors Tutorial College. This is his third year on the team.
Both OHIO teams notched several wins and split decisions over impressive programs.
In mock trial competitions, every trial is judged by two judges who record their scores on a ballot, and it takes both judges' ballots to win a trial.
Ohio University Green’s defense side took a victory over Duquesne University and their prosecution side took a victory over the bye-bust team; a counsel comprised of competitors from multiple schools. Ohio University White’s defense side had a split decision with Duquesne University, and the prosecution side had a victory over Dayton University and split decision with Bellarmine University.
Both teams were supported throughout the early season by alumni Clarke VanDervort and Justin Townley, both judging intersquad competition and providing feedback and legal wisdom.
"I’m so proud of the team as a whole. This weekend gave us the opportunity to see where our case weaknesses are and get right back to work for [the next scheduled competition in] Rochester. It’s always amazing to come home from a tournament with an award for a team member but also see the improvement of our new members!" said Mock Trial President Megan Taylor.
This was the first opportunity for the team’s incoming class of new competitors to test out their skills as well. Darryl Wright, a junior and first year member competing for the Green team prosecution.
"Scarlet and Gray was an amazing eye opening experience for me as a first year member on the Mock Trial team," Wright said. "Everybody was extremely engaged and it was fun to compete against all the future lawyers of America!"
OHIO Mock Trial is affiliated with the Center for Law, Justice & Culture and is coached by Larry Hayman Esq., director of legal engagement and pre-law program, and Ashley Johnson, Esq., assistant mock trial coach.