January 19, 2019
For the first time ever, a Kenston mock trial team has qualified for Regionals! Congratulations to Dominic Alandt, Sam Selent, Frank Hegedus, Laura Parsons, Tia Speece, Chloé Peiffer and Maddie Worsdall, who qualified for Regionals while competing in the Lake County Common Pleas Courthouse in Painesville by defeating teams from Andrews Osborne Academy and Perry High School. Both wins were on unanimous decisions by three judge panels consisting of real judges and attorneys. Chloé and Tia earned the Outstanding Attorney award in their respective trials, while Laura was declared the Outstanding Witness in both trials! Congratulations also to Maggie Eibler and Amelia Witmer-Rich for winning the Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Attorney awards during their trial in the Summit County Common Pleas Courthouse in Akron, where they competed with fellow teammates Josh Walls, Anthony Cowoski, Maddy Blackford and Emily Zeiler against Lake High School and Green High School. Special thanks to legal advisors Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich, Esq. and Jennifer Troutman, Esq. The team has been practicing hard since mid-October and has four weeks to prepare for Regionals.
1/19 Lake, Geauga schools compete in mock trial competition (News-Herald)
November 29, 2018
The KHS mock trial team is working hard to prepare for its January 18 competition. Practices are Mondays at 7pm in A112. The team is in its second year of existence and has doubled in size from last year. Thanks to Jennifer Troutman and Jonathan Witmer-Rich for coaching!
October 5, 2018
October 3, 2018
Mock trial is an academic competition against other high schools where students portray an attorney or witness and participate in an original, unscripted simulated trial written by attorneys. High school students argue both sides of the case in real courtrooms across the state and are scored by panels of lawyers and judges. The state finals are held in the Ohio Statehouse, and the winner advances to the national competition. Students learn first-hand about the law, court procedures and the judicial system.
Practices are Monday nights from 7:00-8:30pm in Room A112. The coaches are all attorneys.
This year’s case challenges students to consider an individual’s right to privacy in our increasingly technological world. In September 2018, Quinn Woolf was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and telecommunications fraud for stealing $120 million from the State of Buckeye’s pension fund. The state alleges that Quinn used a private, alpha-numeric code to hack into the state’s digital wallet and drain the funds. The state is basing its claim on drone footage captured from 400 feet in the air. The footage was enhanced to show Quinn Woolf sitting under a gazebo in the backyard of the Woolf residence with a notebook and a laptop. The enhancement revealed an alpha-numeric code written in Quinn’s notebook that matched the code needed to access the state’s account. The defense has filed a motion to exclude the drone footage, claiming that police violated Quinn’s Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. The motion hearing will focus on the need for a search warrant; specifically, if the contracted drone operator qualifies as a state actor and if Quinn had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
January 28, 2018
Kenston’s first ever mock trial team successfully competed in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas on Friday, defeating Cornerstone Christian Academy and narrowly losing to Mentor High School. Congrats to Jake Riscili, Frank Hegedus, Savannah Georgian, Sam Selent, Tia Speece, Emma Nidy, and Weston Gaskins for being founding members of the team, and thanks to Attorney Coaches Jennifer Troutman and Jonathan Witmer-Rich for the countless number of hours they spent volunteering to coach the team for three months.
The 2017-18 case was inspired by the popular podcast Serial and asked students to participate in a trial regarding whether a new trial should be granted to Adam Smith, a student convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend. Almost twenty years after being convicted, Smith filed a petition for a new trial, alleging that his original attorney mishandled cell phone evidence in his case and failed to pursue a potential alibi witness. Smith’s original trial attorney was disbarred only a few years after his case. The trial focused on whether there is a reasonable probability that Smith would have been found not-guilty at the original trial if he had a competent attorney.
If you are interested in joining the 2018-19 mock trial team, please check this website for information in late October 2018 or contact Mr. Voudris at firstname.lastname@example.org in October 2018.