Ohio Attorney Generalís Public Service Mock Trial Competition

William C. Becker, Principal Attorney, Court of Claims Defense Ohio Attorney Generalís Office

Ohio's First Assistant Attorney General Mary Mertz,<i> left</i>, with some of the 2013 competitors
Ohio's First Assistant Attorney General Mary Mertz, left, with some of the 2013 competitors

This past November, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine launched the First Annual Public Service Mock Trial Competition held in the new Common Pleas Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio.

Eight law schools from across Ohio competed in this two-day event trying the State v. Graves case, a telemarketing fraud case loaned as a courtesy to this program from National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI), a branch of NAAG.

The law schools fielded teams of four to six members who were guaranteed two trials on Saturday, representing opposite sides of the case in each round, with the top two teams advancing to the final round on Sunday. Both federal and state judges as well as experienced public service and private litigators judged the competition.

At its heart, this Mock Trial Competition is designed to further careers in public service by matching the law school teams with public service litigators from across the state acting as their coaches. Assistant attorneys general from the statewide offices of the Ohio attorney general provided the core of the coaches, but litigators from other public service offices supplemented the coaching.

ďThis competition was founded to help law students learn ways public service lawyers help protect Ohio families,Ē Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

The purpose of this program was fulfilled when the attorney general extended an offer to one of the competitors to be part of the Ohio attorney generalís 2014 incoming class of assistant attorneys general.

For attorneys general offices wanting to start a similar competition in their state, please contact Bill Malloy, NAGTRI chief administrator, at wmalloy@naag.org or 202-326-6045.

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