On Friday, January 26, MVCTC Pre-Law students participated in the 41st Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition at the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) and the Dayton Bar Association. Over 200 teams competed across Ohio in the district competition.
Each fall, high school teams from around the state prepare a trial based on a case created by a panel of judges, lawyers and staff. This year’s case, State v. Espinosa, explored the application of the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, the defendant, Ash Espinosa, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. As a result, the State wanted to recover the loss of the conspiracy by seizing Espinosa’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. However, Espinosa argued against the Camaro’s seizure due to the fact that Espinosa was not the “conspiracy leader” and that the seizure of the Camaro would violate the Eighth Amendment right against excessive fines.
The Prosecution team included Madison Preston (Tri-Village) and Zach Albright (Valley View) as attorneys, and they presented two witnesses, portrayed by Adison Lowe (Northmont) and Lana Hicks (Tri-County North). Selina Shortes (Tri-County North) served as the timekeeper/bailiff and ensured that the trial was conducted within the guidelines of the OCLRE rules.
The Defense team included Brayton Gray (Eaton) and Aleah Bloomfield (Brookville) as attorneys, and they presented two witnesses, portrayed by Mercedes Eichelberger (Arcanum-Butler) and Jacey McQueen (Eaton). Emily Etter (Brookville) and Amaiya-mae Winston (West Carrollton) were alternates on the Mock Trial Team.
MVCTC’s team worked diligently from October through January on the case materials to organize the strategy and legal arguments of the case. They conducted a thorough trial at the competition and impressed the judges with their preparation, questions, arguments, and appropriate objections. Two MVCTC Pre-Law students received special awards: Aleah Bloomfield won “Best Attorney” in the first trial, and Jacey McQueen won “Best Witness.”
Congratulations to the MVCTC team and instructor Jessica Savage, Esq. on a job well done!
OCLRE is a non-profit organization that aims to improve society by developing citizens empowered to understand our democratic system. The Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation sponsor OCLRE.