Cleveland Mock Trial

“The only exposure I had to the legal field was from television shows such as Law & Order. Mock Trial allowed me to come face to face with the career I have always known I wanted to pursue. For me, Mock Trial was not just a competition in high school. Mock Trial was the most important building block that solidified my passion to pursue law and become a lawyer. Not only did Mock Trial introduce me to mentors and legal professionals, but it also ignited a fire in me that still burns today."  Tiana Bohanon, Cleveland State University Class of 2016

The Cleveland Mock Trial Competition gives Cleveland high school students a chance to prepare their best legal arguments for an exciting day of competition with their peers each year in the spring. Coached by volunteer attorneys and law students, the teams take turns representing the prosecution and defense in a criminal appeal, giving them the opportunity both to hone their legal skills and to learn more about important issues facing teens today. In years past the topics have included police encounters, charges of hazing, driving while texting, bullying, misdemeanor child endangerment, and criminal stalking.  The top attorneys, witness, and essay writer are rewarded with a paid summer internship at the Cleveland Municipal Court.

2017 Competition -- Congratulations!

The CMBA thanks all participants in the 2017 Cleveland Mock Trial Competition!  With the help of more than 40 volunteers (including judges, magistrates, attorneys, and other legal professionals who coached and judged), dozens of Cleveland Municipal Court staff, and more than 250 students, teachers, and other supporters, 16 teams from Cleveland and East Cleveland brought their peak game to the Justice Center May 5. 

Special congratulations to the top three teams:

  1. John Hay – Cleveland School of Science & Medicine
  2. John Marshall – Team Honors
  3. NewTech West – Team #1

And to the students who won summer internships for their outstanding writing and performances as attorneys and witnesses:

  • Writing Competition: Damien Rodriguez (Facing History New Tech)
  • Outstanding Attorney for the Prosecution: Brian Jackson (Shaw)
  • Outstanding Attorney for the Defense: Alyissa Sagoes (Bard Early College)
  • Outstanding Witness: William Eatmon (Shaw)

For more information about the competition or to volunteer to coach or score next year's trials, please contact Jessica Paine or call (216) 696-3525.

2017 CASE MATERIALS FOR COACHES AND VOLUNTEERS: Please click here for the complete case materials for this year.

2016 Competition

Congratulations to the more than 300 students, volunteers, and supporters who participated in the 2016 Cleveland Mock Trial Competition at the Justice Center on May 6!  The CMBA extends special thanks to the more than 30 volunteers who served as legal advisors and judicial panelists, as well as the Cleveland Municipal Court for all its help and support that make the competition possible.  Ten teams from eight Cleveland high schools competed both as prosecution and defense in a hypothetical criminal case involving the topical issues of free speech, criminal damage, immigration, and laws regarding open carry and protests.
Congratulations to the top teams from this year's competition, as well as to students from Facing History and John Hay Early College, who were recognized as Outstanding Attorneys and Witness.

  • First Place: John Hay Early College - Team Truth
  • Second Place: Ginn Academy
  • Third Place: John Hay School of Science & Medicine
  • Honorable mention: Whitney Young and John Hay Early College - Team Justice

To see more video of the mock trial in action, click here.

The Cleveland Mock Trial Competition is a program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, with funding support provided by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation.

The CMBF is a 501(c)(3) organization; gifts to it are tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

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