Registration is now open! Click HERE to register for this year's events!
8th Annual Event - January 9-10, 2016
It gives us great pleasure to announce the 8th Annual University of Cincinnati High School Mock Trial Invitationals. Due to overwhelming demand, we will be hosting two one day tournaments on Saturday, January 9, 2016 and Sunday, January 10, 2016. There will be a cap of 28 teams on each date.
As in the past, each of this year’s tournaments will consist of two rounds, one each in the morning and the afternoon. The tournaments will once again be held at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and nearby academic buildings. The rounds will be scored by the UC Mock Trial coaching staff and current undergraduate mock trial students, all of whom are very well versed in the rules of evidence and have experience both competing in and judging mock trial competitions.
The Ohio Center for Law Related Education and its sponsors have graciously allowed us to hold this competition and use its product. We will be using the same case that the teams will utilize at their district, regional and state competitions. The Mock Trial case materials used in this Invitational have been developed by the OCLRE and its sponsors. For over 30 years, the OCLRE has provided programs focused on imparting practical law-related information to students and teachers, developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills for students and providing positive engagement between students and the community.
Our event is also sponsored by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. For over 75 years, Kaplan has been a resource for families to turn to when applying to college. They have led the industry through instruction-based learning science, proven strategies, and unique understanding of how to navigate test changes: on-line, in the classroom or through one-on-one instruction. At its core, Kaplan helps people transform their lives through education. Kaplan will be providing information on its services and products, as well as giving away free items throughout the weekend. Kaplan will also be raffling off one free test prep course, a $699 value, on each day of our event.
Each of the tournaments is open to the first 28 teams who wish to register on each date, on a first come first serve basis. Once all spots for a given date are filled, teams will be offered spots on the alternate date or a spot on the waiting list for the already filled date. In the event that teams drop out of an already filled date, those teams on the waiting list will be offered a spot in the order that they signed up. Each school is permitted to bring up to 3 teams. If space permits, we will entertain the idea of allowing one school to bring more than 3 competing teams. While a school is permitted to have one or more of its teams compete on separate dates, the same team is not permitted to compete on both dates.
Each round will be judged by a minimum of two persons, a combination of UC Mock Trial staff and team members, all of which are well versed in mock trial and the rules of evidence. Only staff and advanced members with several years of experience will act as the presiding judge. Two judges will be scoring. Just like in the district competitions, the judges will not know which schools they are judging. In addition, no staff or member will judge a team from a school for which they have competed or coached. Scoring will be done using the traditional high school mock trial scoring sheets. At the end of each round, the score sheets will be brought to the scoring room and the scores counted. Unlike the district competitions, the judges are not required to agree on a winner. Their scores will be counted independently, and it is possible to split judges in a round, or even tie on a ballot. At the end of the tournament, each team will have a record out of 4, be it 4-0, 3-1, 2-2, 1-3, 0-4, and may include ties (i.e. 1-2-1). This is done so that a winner of the tournament can be determined with more certainty. At the end of the tournament, the team with the best record will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie for first place, the tiebreaker will be number of total points scored by a team, and secondly, if necessary, by point differential (i.e. how many total points a team beat its opponents by). These rules are how most college mock trial tournaments decide a winner. Unlike the district competitions, we are not looking for several teams to advance on, but to find one overall champion. This method of scoring better allows for that purpose.
Pairing of Rounds:
The first round will be paired randomly by myself and will be announced during the opening ceremonies. The second round will be power paired. That is, the teams will be ranked by their record so that 2-0 teams will face each other and 0-2 teams will face each other, etc. If there is more than one team on a side with the same record, the tiebreakers discussed above will be utilized to determine order. This also allows us to better determine the tournament winner. Each team will get to present each side of the case once, and no team will face the same team twice, or a team from their same school, as that would not advance the purposes of the tournament.
Food and Parking:
A minimum of an hour has been allotted for lunch. Lunch will be provided to all students and coaches. As such, an accurate accounting of how many students and coaches will be attending for each team is necessary, and is requested in the registration form on the right of this page. There is ample parking around campus, including garages and meters. However, most meters are running on Saturdays and must be fed every few hours. As such, it is suggested that all guests park in one of the garages near the law school. A map of the campus will be provided for assistance with parking. In the event that a school arrives by bus, please indicate that on the registration form so that we may secure a location for it to be parked.
At the end of the tournament, an awards ceremony will be held where individual best attorney and witness awards will be handed out for each trial, instead of during the trial. In addition, the Giant Gavel will be presented to the overall winner of each tournament. Scores will be known only by the tournament host until the awards ceremony. After the conclusion of the tournament, each team will receive a copy of their score sheets for review via email.
The competition rooms have very limited seating for coaches, parents and friends to watch the trials. Space cannot be guaranteed for anyone outside of the student competitors and a few coaches.
Details coming soon!
There will be a fee of $125.00 per team (not per school) for this year’s tournaments. All registration checks must be received before December 1, 2015. For this fee, we will be providing lunch to all student competitors and their coaches, as well as awards at the conclusion of the tournament. In addition, there are costs associated with the use of the buildings and security to monitor the event. Registration checks should be drafted and mailed according to the instructions listed on the registration form. It is imperative that we be informed as soon as possible if there is any need to cancel or to bring fewer teams. December 1, 2014 will be the last day to drop a team and get a refund of the registration fee. After that date, there will be no refunds of registration fees.
All registration fees must be made payable by check to the "University of Cincinnati Mock Trial Association" and sent to:
Joshua J. Leckrone, Esq.
Walters Meadows Richardson, PLLC
771 Corporate Drive, Suite 900
Lexington, Kentucky 40503
As with our previous tournaments, we are confident that this opportunity will present the participating students with a valuable educational experience and some helpful guidance in advance of the district competitions. I have been told over the years that most high school teams welcome the chance to scrimmage and improve their skills prior to the district competitions. This will be an excellent chance for the students to hone their skills in front of skilled mock trial coaches and students, and to be recognized for their accomplishments. Further, we sincerely hope that this program will encourage high school students to continue their mock trial education at the collegiate level. I know that many of our best students have come from high school mock trial programs. This is a great chance for them to give back. From my experience as a mock trial competitor at the high school and collegiate level, as well as a coach, I know that there exists no better educational activity which promotes the study and practice of law amongst both high school and college students.
If you are interested in registering one or more teams, or have any further questions about the event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day One - Indian Hill
Day Two - Springfield
Day One - Indian Hill
Day Two - Oak Hills
Day One - Nordonia
Day Two - Oak Hills
Day One - Summit Country Day
Day Two - Reading
2011 - Reading
2010 - Oak Hills
2009 - Oak Hills
Day One - 28 Spots
Day Two - 28 Spots
Congratulations to Indian Hill and Springfield for taking