The Student News Site of Mentor High School

Cardinal Nation

Cardinal Nation

Cardinal Nation

Mentor Mock Trial Districts Competition Recap

A summary of the 2023-2024 Mentor Mock Trial Districts Competition
The award winning Mentor High School Mock Trial team wants you!

This year’s case

The Mentor High School Mock Trial Team competed at the 2024 Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) Mock Trial District Competitions on Friday, January 26 at the Lake County Courthouse.

MHS Mock Trial Teams 1 and 2, photographed by Mrs. DiNovo

The case at hand this year, State V. Espinosa, involved two cousins – Ash Espinosa and Harley Diallo – who were co-owners of a junkyard called Diallo’s Scrap & Sale. After becoming involved in a conspiracy to embezzle and launder money, the two eventually pled guilty and were arrested for money laundering. The question of this case was whether Ash Espinosa’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro should be seized to cover the remainder of the 400,000 in total restitution that they still owed.

This year, there were two burdens of proof: the prosecution had to prove Ash Espinosa was the conspiracy leader and the defense had to prove that seizure of the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro would constitute an excessive fine, thus violating their Eighth Amendment rights. Ultimately, the team had to determine whether the State of Buckeye could seize defendant Ash Espinosa’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro.

How did it go?

Mentor arrived at the courthouse at 8:15 a.m. and continued practicing until the first trials occurred at 9:15 a.m., in which Mentor Mock Trial Team 1 Defense and Team 2 Prosecution competed. After morning trials and lunch, Team 1 Prosecution and Team 2 Defense competed at 12:45 p.m.

MHS Mock Trial Team 2 Prosecution and Defense, photographed by Mr. Leak

In the morning, Team 1 Defense (Alexander Nicoletti, Jaylee Beasley, Veya Roberts, Alyia Brewer, and M.J. Burnette) competed against Lake Catholic while Team 2 Prosecution (Alexis Godek, Vanessa Heiss, Addison Metrick, Elizabeth Plumley, and Sylvia Hall) competed against Notre Dame Cathedral Latin. Team 1 Defense was left with a win and the Outstanding Witness award was earned by Veya Roberts.

In the afternoon, Team 1 Prosecution (Evelyn Skowronsky, Noel Sluga, William Putney, Alexis Balanik-Slater, and M.J. Burnette) competed against J.F.K. Warren while Team 2 Defense (Sylvia Hall, Alexis Godek, Alexander Saley, Atlas Copley, and Vanessa Heiss) competed against Harvey High School. Team 2 Defense was left with a win, and the Outstanding Witness award was earned by Atlas Copley while the Outstanding Attorney award was earned by Alexis Godek.

MHS Mock Trial Team 1 Prosecution and Defense, photographed by Mrs. DiNovo

“Going to competition is always the best part of Mock Trial for me,” said Mock Trial co-captain Evelyn Skowronsky. “We get to showcase our hard work to professionals and compete against other schools. Everyone on the team tried their hardest and we had a great time. Even if it’s not your thing, I think everyone should get out of their comfort zone and go to a Mock Trial meeting next year. It’s a great activity, and a great way to meet new friends.”

Mock Trial is looking forward to a new season in the 2024-2025 school year and can’t wait to meet its new members! Congratulations to all the members that participated this year and good luck to the future Mock Trial teams in next year’s case!

The Mock Trial Team will be celebrating our season with our Banquet in March and we will hold a Recruitment Night on May 13, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. Please join us for Recruitment Night and learn all about Mock Trial at MHS.

More to Discover