LOGAN — A sense of pride and accomplishment is still being felt as the Logan High School Mock Trial team was one of two teams that advanced to regionals after winning Friday’s 2018 High School Mock Trial competition in Logan. Now it’s time to prepare for regionals.
The LHS mock trial team members included SadieJane Hill, Ainsleigh Beckett, Max Burns, Daniel Cappuzi, Cameron Jordan, Carmen Shuttleworth, Delaney Kelch, Pamela Martinez Ibarra, and Heavenly Zaayer-Nichols.
The team was under the direction of English teacher Ben Taulbee with Hocking County Common Pleas Court Judge John Wallace serving as the advisor.
Taulbee communicated that he was very proud of his team for winning the competition. He said they have been preparing for the mock trial since November; however, other club schedules and weather made it more difficult to prepare as a team.
The teacher explained that this is also the first time he hasn’t had to assign double duty to a team member to play more than one role, which allowed students to better focus on the part at hand.
“I think the team was more successful this year because of three main reasons — three returning members, a committed legal advisor and this is my third year advising the Mock Trial process,” Taulbee expressed. “Due to our experience this year and how much we had prepared, I felt confident going in and I think we did a good job presenting our side of the case.”
Taulbee also noted that last year he was allowed to take the mock trial team to watch the regional competition at the Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse. He explained that the purpose of the trip was to see what it takes to get to that level.
Wallace stated that the mock trials went very well for the LHS team and it was a lot of fun being the advisor.
“It was fun to work with these fine young people and I hope and expect that they’ll do well in the upcoming competition. I saw some very good performances out of the attorneys,” Wallace stated. “I met with the students every chance I got — unfortunately, I have been pretty busy with trials but I made it to a good number of practices after school and gave them some practical advice.”
The schools represented at Friday’s mock trial competition were: Logan High School, Trimble High School, Pickerington Central High School, Circleville High School, and two teams from Teays Valley High School.
Jamie Green, Court Administrator for the Hocking County Juvenile Court explained that the winners for outstanding attorneys and outstanding witnesses were:
• Kayleigh Jones, Pickerington High School
• Chayse Witt, Teays Valley High School (won twice)
• Carmen Shuttleworth, Logan High School
• Mercedes Seaman, Pickerington Central High School
• Logan Wolfe, Circleville High School
• Grace Lange, Pickerington Central High School
• Courtney Pangmore, Teays Valley High School
• Dalton Herron, Circleville High School
• Christopher Shimp, Pickerington Central High School
• Ainsley Beckett, Logan High School
• Christian McGowan, Teays Valley High School
“It went very well. The judges and lawyers were very willing to participate in the mock trial,” Green commented.
Taulbee acknowledged Hill, a senior, who has been a part of the Mock Trial team all three years he has been advisor. During Hill’s first two years she was the bailiff/timekeeper, but this year she stepped up to be a main witness.
One of the reasons students initially joined the mock trial team was to have a chance at the Mock Trial scholarship that was provided by the Hocking County Bar Association, according to Taulbee.
“We have only been able to make this happen my first year and then the bar association cancelled the scholarship without telling us,” he said. “I’m hoping that with us moving on to the regional competition, and showing that this club benefits their profession, that they take refunding the scholarship under review.”
Pickerington Central High School also advanced to regionals.
The Mock Trial Regional Competition is set for Friday, Feb. 16, but the location is unknown at this time.
“The second round of competition still retains the district case file, so we will be refining our legal arguments and sharpening our witness roles to compete with another team that won their two trials,” Taulbee concluded.