MHS Mock Trial Team Advances to Regional Competitions!

Regional Competitions will take place today!


Mentor Mock Trial Team 1: Evelyn Skrownonsky, Haniyah Imran, Veya Roberts, Loren Wandersleben, Robbie Land, Jaylee Beasley, Megan Meeker, Alexander Babul, Aliyah Brewer, and Advisor Mrs.DiNovo

Haniyah Imran and Megan Meeker

After months of analysis, drafting, memorization, and dedication, the Mentor High Schools Mock Trial Team competed at the 2023 OCLRE Mock Trial District competitions. Sponsored by Lake County Common Pleas Court and Lake Country Bar Association, the competitions were held at Lake County Court House on January 27, 2023. With seven schools participating (AOA, Kenston, Lake Catholic, Harvey, Riverside, and NDCL) and a total of 9 teams…

MHS Mock Trial came out on top with their Team One advancing to Regional Competitions!

With the immense support of their advisor Mrs. Renee DiNovo, their Legal Advisor, Mr. Doug Leak, and the hard work of each team member, the entire team could attend district competitions prepared for anything. 

Team 1 Prosecution (Evelyn Skronownsky, Veya Roberts, Haniyah Imran, Loren Wandersleben, and Alyia Brewer) competed against Andrews Osborne Academy in the morning trial, and Team 1 Defense ( Robbie Land, Haniyah Imran, Megan Meeker, Alexander Babul, and Alyia Brewer) competed against Riverside in the afternoon. Team 1 left with wins in both trials, and the Best Witness award earned by Loren Wandersleben and Best Attorney awards earned by Evelyn Skronowsky and Haniyah Imran. 

Best Witness award earned by Adrianna Cek & Loren Wanderslaben, Best Attorney award by Alexander Nicoletti, Evelyn Skronwonsky, and Haniyah Imran.

Team 2 Defense (Alexander Nicoltetti, Caroline Stevenson, Adrianna Cek, Alexis Balanik-Slater, and Jack Riera) competed against Painesville Harvey in the morning trial, and Team 2 Defense (Jobeyka Ponce Tirado, Bill Putney, Grace Orr, Heather Shier, and Jack Riera) competed against Lake Catholic in the afternoon. Team 2 left with a win in their morning trial, the Best Witness award earned by Adrianna Cek, and the Best Attorney award by Alex Nicoletti.

Fortunately, during the awards ceremony, it was declared that among the three teams that advanced, Mentor High Schools Team 1. Mock Trial advances to Regional Competition this weekend! Mentor Mock Trial will compete against regionally qualified teams on February 17

What does this really mean? 

This means that Mentor will be back in the courtroom! Presenting in front of real-life judges and other legal professionals at a chance to go to states. What happens in that courtroom is a series of proceedings that take roughly two hours to complete. To begin, introductions and opening statements are made by opposing teams, as schools rarely face themselves. The following four witnesses will be called to give testimony and undergo questioning in the form of direct, which is a rehearsed script, then cross an unknown line of yes or no questioning done by the opposing school. During this, witnesses answer questions, and attorneys may object. Witnesses must memorize pages of testimony, understand their character, and reply as the character, on trial, without contradicting their statements. Lastly, closing arguments are made by attorneys to conclude the trial. Though attorneys and witnesses are both critical, each word spoken can make or break the ruling scored; the teams are judged and gain/lose points based on performance. These points dictate whether or not the team moves forward. 

This sounds like a lot, but the thoughtful judges, similarly nervous teams, and supportive family and team members make it all worthwhile! 

But don’t just take it from us but rather from the word of our team members: 

“A truly amazing experience! That gives experience to aspiring legal enthusiasts” – Alexander Nicoletti, Defense Attorney 

“Maybe the treasure wasn’t winning, but slaying” – Adrianna Cek, Expert Witness

“We did that.” – Robert Land, Defense Attorney 

“It was chaotic and entertaining, but for the most part, it was fun!” -Alexzander Babul, Witness

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially at our age… The trials went smoothly, and it felt surreal to be involved.” – Alyia Brewer, Timekeeper 

What will regional competitions have in store? 

Over 200 teams competed in district competitions, and 84 advanced to the 11 regional competitions held this Friday. Within the Lake County region, Mentor Niles Mckinley, NDCL, Orange, and University high schools will participate on Friday, February 17. Teams will check into the courthouse by 8:30 am, where they find out which sections they will be going up against at 9:00 am. By noon, it will be time to break for lunch until 1:00 pm, when the second trial session will proceed until 3:00 pm. At around 3:30, awards will take place to determine who has advanced to state competitions, which will be held in Columbus, Ohio, on March 9, 10, and 11. Mentor High School Team 1 will have both the prosecution and defense trials in the morning and none in the afternoon. This will be followed by lunch and waiting as the awards begin around 3:30 pm, after afternoon trials. 

Good luck, Mentor High School Team 1 at Regional Competitions!

Image Credits: Renee DinNovo (Advisor): Mentor Mock Trial Team members: Alexander Babul, Alexis Balanik-Slater, Jaylee Beasley, Alyia Brewer, Adrianna Cek, Haniyah Imran, Robbie Land, Megan Meeker, Alexander Nicoletti, Grace Orr, Jobeyka Ponce Tirado, Bill Putney, Jack Riera, Veya Roberts, Heather Shier, Evelyn Skrownownsky, Caroline Stevenson, Loren Wandersleben.