Issue 2

Fall 2016

Partnering With Teachers to Bring Citizenship to Life

More Than Law: Programs Teach
Transferable Skills
By Caitlyn Smith, Program Coordinator

Most would argue that preparing students for the workforce is
important, but how can it be done in a meaningful way?
OCLRE programs are designed to challenge students in a
number of ways, to better prepare them as citizens – and as future
employees. Many students may have a concrete idea of what they
want to do after graduation, but many others do not. Therefore,
it remains important to teach, and allow students to practice, skills
that transfer to any career. “Soft skills,” such as critical thinking,
problem solving, team work, and public speaking serve students –
and their future employers – in any field.
With hopes of becoming a more confident public speaker,
Carolyn Speicher participated in Mock Trial for three years
before graduating from Oak Hills High school in 1996. She is
now the Assistant Director of Event Services & Guest Experience
at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. Carolyn
knew in high school she did not want to pursue a career in law,
but problem-solving is what drew her to Mock Trial. Of her
experience, Carolyn said, “it was like a puzzle you [had] to put
together – you’re given a lot of information and it’s up to you to
decide what is important and why.” //cont. P2

Teachable Moment:
What it Means to “Teach
for Social Justice”
By Ryan Suskey, Director of Professional
Development & Programs

As we reflect on the events of this summer
and begin another school year, I wonder
how our young citizens will discuss, learn
from, and process the moments of tragedy
and triumph that occurred since they last
left our classrooms. The summer was full
of historic moments: from the devastating
loss of life in Orlando, violence on the
streets of Chicago and Dallas, to the first
female presidential nominee and the first
ever refugee team competing in the 31st
The thoughtful and engaged citizens we
are trying to create will be tasked with
understanding and contextualizing these
events. Teachers have an opportunity to
provide young, budding citizens with
tools to understand and respond to these
events; but how? //cont. P4

In This Issue
Award Recipients Announced


Ohio Mock Trial Case Capsule


Professional Development


Start a “Revolution” in the Classroom


Thank You, Donors!


A Student’s Thanks

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a letter written by 2016 Archbishop Hoban graduate and former mock trial team member,
Matthew Deibel, to Hoban mock trial legal advisors. Edited and reprinted with permission.

“I wanted [you] to know I will be attending the University of Akron next year on a full ride. I truly have
all of you to thank for this scholarship. I won this scholarship because of a presentation I gave last
week. Everyone applying for the scholarship had 20 minutes to prepare a 5-minute presentation
on a topic we knew basically nothing about. I realized right before I was presenting that the judges
would grade like mock trial… Mock trial [gave] me an advantage over everyone else. I used a
combination of all of the skills I have learned from all of you over the past three years… I gave the
presentation like a closing statement with passion. [You have] taught me that people will believe you
if you speak confidently.”
~ Matthew Deibel

More Than Law (cont. from P1)
Students who participate in mock trial are presented with
an extensive case file, and it is up to them to carve out
arguments. Students must build these arguments based on
hundreds of pages of material, and ultimately may have as
little as four minutes to present their case in opening or
closing arguments. Similarly, We the People students put
together four minutes of prepared testimony to present to
a panel of judges, but may be asked a variety of followup questions that test the depth of their knowledge and
understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

“You need to be able to have real,
tough conversations with people –
and be able to walk away and
grab a sandwich with them later.”
Carolyn recently volunteered for OCLRE as a facilitator
during the Ohio Moot Court competition. When asked if
it was different to be on the other side, she said “It (mock
trial) was a big part of my high school career. It wasn’t
a club where we showed up and made a poster and left.
Coming back [as a volunteer] made me see how [the]
program played a big part in what I’m doing now.”


Carolyn is still in contact with many of her former
teammates; one is a program coordinator for the
Girl Scouts of America, one is a civil engineer, and
another is a fitness and recreation specialist. When
asked if she thought their experiences in Mock Trial
helped any of their careers, her response was “any
employer will want [employees] who can figure
out how to dissect information, make a decision,
and feel confident moving forward.”

OCLRE programs share the common goal of developing
informed, active citizens. Programs are academically
rigorous and offer built-in assessments. They also offer
opportunities for students to practice skills that can
help shape them into valuable citizens and employees.
While many OCLRE students may decide they want to
study law, students in any field can apply the skills they
learn. Speaking with confidence, working as a team,
and considering another’s point of view are among the
most important skills gained through participation.
Carolyn pointed out how she has utilized these skills in
the workplace. “You need to be able to have real, tough
conversations with people – and be able to walk away and
grab a sandwich with them later.”
When students finish an OCLRE
program they know more about
the law and become more informed
citizens - citizens who can later use
their skills in any career they choose,
and give back to their communities
in many ways.

Eiler, Founders’ Award Recipients Announced
On behalf of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education and its Board of Trustees, it is a pleasure to announce the
2016 recipients of OCLRE’s highest honors.

Lori U. Eiler Award for Mock Trial Coaching Excellence
Judge S. Dwight Osterud, Perrysburg Municipal Court (retired), started the
Perrysburg Court Law & Government Explorer Post in 2001. Since that time, as a
part of his efforts to instill in young people an understanding of and appreciation for
the law and justice system, Judge Osterud has coached the Post’s Mock Trial team.
“Judge O,” as he is affectionately known to students, strikes the balance of having
“…created a competitive though friendly atmosphere… allow[ing] participants to
see the court as a tool for justice as opposed to a place to be feared,” according to
Perrysburg alumnus and fellow coach Russell Quick.

Founders’ Award
Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger is the recipient of the Founders’
Award. Justice Lanzinger is committed to enhancing public understanding of the
judicial system. She has been particularly supportive of civic education, and in 2010
launched her “Justice Judy” blog in an effort to engage an increasingly tech-savvy
population of young people in understanding the purpose and function of our laws
and courts. Justice Lanzinger has been elected to serve at each level of the state
judiciary, and has served as a judge or justice for more than 30 years.

Ohio Mock Trial Case Capsule: Pat Justice v. CAT News et al.
In the 2017 Ohio Mock Trial case, Pat Justice v. CAT News et al., students will consider a case of defamation
of a public official by a news station. Pat Justice recently ran for re-election as Governor of the State of
Ohio. During the campaign, Trillium High School’s We the People club invited Governor Justice to speak
during the lunch hour. Afterward, the Governor met with a student in the principal’s office. Principal
I.M. Veritas was a rival of Governor Justice in college and, once the two were alone, an argument began
which ended with the Governor storming out. As the Governor left, Principal Veritas suffered a fatal
brain aneurysm and died. A student reporter heard the argument and reported to a local news affiliate
CAT News that the Governor killed the principal. While it was disproven quickly, the story went viral.
Governor Justice lost the election, and has filed a civil suit against CAT News, alleging defamation. The
former Governor will seek to prove that the station published the story with reckless disregard to the
truth, and that the story damaged his/her reputation and cost him/her the election.

Teachable Moment (cont. from P1)
OCLRE programs like Ohio Mock
Trial, Youth for Justice, and We
the People, give students tools to
understand and engage in a thorough
and thoughtful consideration of issues
of social importance. Teachers for
social justice do not teach their beliefs;
rather, they teach the tools needed to
form a belief of one’s own. Teaching
for social justice equips students with
the ability to evaluate the community
around them, identify problems, and
then do something about it.

them build a strong habit of making
informed decisions, and become better
citizens as a result.

Utilizing Authentic Assessments

a search warrant for a phone cover
those geotags? Would the game
makers be compelled to turn over a
user’s complete second by second log?
Tackling topics for which students have
context helps to show them how their
lives are connected to larger issues.
It might take more time to teach the
Fourth Amendment via Pokémon
Go! than from a textbook, but which
method is more memorable?
This teachable moment is aimed at
helping teachers fully embrace the
opportunities that teaching for social
justice presents.

Connect to Students’ Lives

When you make a topic relevant,
people pay attention. Finding the
intersection of current events and
student interests can create the perfect
storm of student engagement.
While our students—and, admit
it, some of us—were busy playing
Pokémon Go! this summer, how
many stopped to consider the possible
Fourth Amendment implications?
The app “pulses” a player’s location
every ten seconds while interacting
with the global server. Previous
versions of the app even showed a
map of each location visited. Would

Teach from Multiple

Every issue has at least two different
sides. When starting out in Mock
Trial or Moot Court, students may
complain of being “forced” to
represent a side of the case with which
they disagree.
In a social justice oriented classroom,
issues are approached with as much
context as possible. While interested
in students’ initial opinions, we
also want to provide opportunities
for them to integrate or respond to
opinions that differ from their own.
A rich classroom discussion considers
pros and cons of every point. After
all, that is what citizens are called on
to do all the time.
Training students to tackle issues from
at least two perspectives will help

Engaging students in a simulation of a
real life scenario allows them to test
their role as citizens in a safe setting.
Chances are good that students will
encounter complicated issues in
conversation, or even at their future
jobs. By participating in OCLRE
programs, which encourage active
citizenship, students have a chance
to role play scenarios they might
encounter in real life.
As an eighth grader, I learned a lot
from writing a report about pollution
and its effect on sea life, but it ended
there. The good grade was nice, but the
Atlantic Ocean is more than 400 miles
away from my home!

Teachers who engage students in Youth
for Justice and Project Citizen hit the
same research and writing standards,
while simultaneously helping students
to see what tools are at a citizen’s

Create a Classroom
Culture to Foster Growth

disposal to create change. My eighth
grade report done as a Youth for
Justice project might have ended in
my petitioning our school to invest
in single-stream recycling programs,
or organizing a clean-up of the local
waterways that eventually run into
the ocean. Authentic assessments like
Youth for Justice help students complete
the fourth dimension of C3, taking
informed action, while communicating
their findings to a broader audience.

philosophy, and art. Encouraging
and displaying a variety of viewpoints
in lessons, on the walls, and on
bookshelves, encourages students to
consider a variety of viewpoints.

For some students, the classroom may
be the only place they are exposed
to deep ideas about politics, society,

Reading both majority and dissenting
opinions of a Supreme Court decision
teaches students that there is more than
one way to interpret the Constitution.
Reading Abigail’s letters to John
Adams shows students that women’s

2016-2017 Ohio Mock Trial Rule Clarifications
In order for teams to be assigned to a site for district competition, rosters must
be submitted online ( by December 20, 2016 and no changes
will be accepted without approval of the competition committee. At each level of
competition, advisors will be asked to verify rosters on site.
When a competition site does not have an equal number of teams, one will be
asked to split and play prosecution and defense in separate trials at the same
time (team must have 8 or more members to be eligible to split). Teams that cannot
split must apply for an exemption on the roster form.
Pairings will be drawn completely at random and exclusively by OCLRE; site
coordinators will not change trial times or re-draw pairings for any reason. Schools
that field two or more teams understand they may be matched against each other.
All exhibits are stipulated as admitted, and witnesses do not have to enter exhibits
into evidence.

contributions to history were there at
the very fabric of our founding.
As we embark on yet another school
year, I hope you will feel encouraged

to open the doors to a discussion and
learning process that involves us all.
These tips above are a start; we want
to hear from you about how you are
working to build the next generation
of citizens in your classroom.

Share with us

Congratulations to
OCLRE Board Treasurer
Pierce J. Reed
On April 28, 2016, Reed
received the inaugural
Excellence in Mentorship
Award from the Columbus
Lawyer Chapter of the
American Constitution Society.
Mr. Reed was recognized at
an awards ceremony, where
former Ohio Governor Ted
Strickland presented his award.

Witnesses are considered constructively separated, meaning that witnesses are
unaware of prior trial testimony.
All students are eligible to compete on a mock trial team if they have been enrolled
in their school during the academic year in which the competition occurs, and have
not yet graduated.
All teams are expected to adhere to the OCLRE behavior standards, which must
be completed and signed by an adult advisor from each team. Violation of behavior
standards could lead to the disqualification of a school/group and immediate
dismissal from the competition.

BLC Photography,


Professional Development Offers High Rigor,
Fun (Really!) Authentic Assessment
Nine Ohio teachers have joined the
ranks of the James Madison Legacy
Project for the 2016-17 school year.
Through funding from a U.S.
Department of Education SEED
grant (Supporting Effective Educator
partnered with the Center for Civic
Education to offer in-depth teacher
professional development focused on
the United States Constitution and
Last school year, nine Ohio
teachers received more than 30
hours of professional development
incorporating content and pedagogy
to assist in teaching the history,

Brandi Brown, eighth grade teacher
at South Side Middle School
in Columbiana, added that she
enjoyed implementing the simulated
congressional hearings.
“I have
always had high expectations for
my students, but I learned that
eighth grade students can exceed
my expectations when answering
these challenging, evidence-based
There really was no
wasted time in class and, as a teacher,
it was nice to be the facilitator of

Mr. Wunderle added “My students
were stretched out of their comfort
zone to think critically about the
Constitution while simultaneously
applying those ideas to current
events. We the People is such a
wonderful authentic assessment for
my students, as it not only requires
them to think critically, but the
dialogue portion demands that they
have really mastered the content
rather than simply memorize facts.”

Both teachers encourage their peers
to participate in We the People.

Nick Geruntino, Washington High
School, Washington Court House

“I learned that you can just start with
the program and it not be perfect, but
your students will benefit regardless
of your insecurities. As a teacher
today, we are bombarded with
new pedagogy, textbooks, online
engagement activities, etc., that
usually only last one to two years
at most and require a lot of effort.
However, We the People is worth
the effort and I will be using this
curriculum for many years to come,”
said Ms. Brown.

Steven Cudney, Linden-McKinley
STEM Academy, Columbus

Doug Gilbert, Litchfield Middle
School, Akron
Jessee Hankins, Findlay High
School, Findlay
Robin Lashley, Middleburg Heights
Junior High School, Berea
Jordan Masterson, East High
School, Columbus
Jessica Parker, Trotwood-Madison
Middle School, Trotwood
Amy Stultz, Fostoria Jr./Sr. High
School, Fostoria
Gloria Wu, Bowsher High
School, Toledo

philosophy, evolution, and application
of the Constitution and Bill of Rights
through the We the People program.
Matthew Wunderle, Ravenna High
School government teacher, notes the
professional development “lectures…
alone were enough to make the
program worth my time,” and adds he
was “introduced to many web-based
tools that were incredibly invaluable
to my instruction this past year.”

SEED grant funding will allow another
cohort of teachers to participate in the
2017-18 school year.
Interested teachers should visit http://
programs_wethepeople, or contact
program coordinator Tim Kalgreen
(; 614-485-3515).

Start a “Revolution” in the Classroom with

a NEW Middle School Mock Trial Case
In a renewed effort to blend social
studies and history into the literaturebased Middle School Mock Trial
program, OCLRE has created a
new case based on a work of classic
historical fiction. Esther Forbes’
Newberry Award winning novel
Johnny Tremain serves as the basis for
the newest case in OCLRE’s Middle
School Mock Trial collection.
Johnny Tremain is a teenage boy
in revolutionary-era Boston. After
leaving his apprenticeship at a
silversmith shop, Johnny meets a
new friend, Rab, and together they
join the patriot cause. Johnny meets
American founding fathers, including
Paul Revere, Sam Adams, and James
Otis as they organize events, including

the Boston Tea Party and warning
citizens in the countryside of the
impending British Army march
toward Lexington. For the purposes of
the mock trial, Johnny is arrested by
the British and charged with treason
against the Crown.
The case will be available for purchase
in late September, and will be the
featured case at the 2017 Middle School
Mock Trial State Showcase, March 24,
30, and 31, 2017 at the Thomas J. Moyer
Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus.
Information and registration can
be found at
OCLRE extends its thanks to the
case writers for their contributions to

the creation of this new case: Michele
Ballinger, Columbus City Schools;
Judge Kim Browne, Franklin County
Juvenile Court; Todd Burch, Esq.,
Ohio State Bar Association; Georgia
Lang, retired educator; David Slutzky,
District; and Fred Stratmann, Esq.,
CommuniCare Health Services.
Middle School Mock Trial professional
developments are scheduled for
November 15 and January 12. Details
and registration may be found at www.
Contact Tim Kalgreen, Middle School
Mock Trial program coordinator, at or 614-485-3515
for more information.

Thank You, Donors!
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is grateful to the following individuals and organizations
for their kind and generous support of our mission to partner with teachers to bring citizenship to life.
Donations listed were given between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016. Thank you!

$1000 or more

Corporate &
Charitable Funders

$500 - $999

Supreme Court of Ohio
Attorney General of Ohio
Ohio State Bar Association
American Civil Liberties

Union of Ohio Foundation

Ohio State Bar Foundation

Chief Justice Moyer
Legacy Fund

William K. Weisenberg
Fund for Civic Education
Center for Civic Education
The Honor Project Trust
Hubert A. & Gladys C. Estabrook
Charitable Trust
AmazonSmile Foundation

Columbus Bar Foundation
Chester Family

Professionalism Fund
Rourke & Blumenthal
Secure Discovery
Federal Bar Association
Richard A. Dove
Lisa Eschleman
Daniel Hilson

$200 - $299

$100 - $199

Christine Ardley & Douglas Buchanan
Robert Priest
Debra Schimmoeller
Jeffrey P. Sherman

In-Kind Contributions

Capital University Law School
Columbus State Community College
John Carroll University
Ohio Attorney General
Ohio Channel
Ohio State Bar Association
Supreme Court of Ohio

John Quinn
Marion Smithberger
Ohio State Bar Association Staff


1700 Lake Shore Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43204
(p) 614.485.3510 • (f) 614.486.6221

Schedule of Events
17 Mock Trial professional development
18 Law & Citizenship Conference
19 Law & Citizenship Conference
3-4 “Constitution Camp” - We the People

professional development
21 Youth for Justice/Project Citizen

professional development
4 James Madison Legacy Project

professional development
15 Middle School Mock Trial

professional development
6 Moot Court professional development


12 Middle School Mock Trial Advanced

professional development
20 Mock Trial District Competition
27 We the People High School Competition
10 Mock Trial Regional Competition
3 James Madison Legacy Project

professional development
9 Mock Trial State Competition
10 Mock Trial State Competition
11 Mock Trial State Championship
24 Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase
30 Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase
31 Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase
5 Moot Court Competition
10 Youth for Justice/Project Citizen

Virtual Summit
17 We the People Middle School

State Showcase