School of Law impresses at the Ohio Mock Trial Competition

Tanvi Parmar, Staff Reporter

Case Western Reserve School of Law mock trial team argued their way to the top at the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s 2013 Public Service Mock Trial Competition at the Franklin County Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio.
At this competition, second- and third-year students from Ohio law schools tested their mock trial skills in a pair of trials that took place on Saturday, Nov. 2. The top two scorers moved on to the final round on Sunday, Nov. 3.

This competition was hosted by the Ohio Attorney General’s office and allowed students to work with public-sector lawyers who served as coaches for the student teams.

The members of the CWRU’s prevailing team were Dylan Klossner, Rachel Berman-Vaporis, Sydney Brunecz and Czarina Powell. They were coached by Bruce Horrigan, Mark Zemba and Mike Sliwinski from The Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Yuri Linetsky from CWRU’s School of Law.

“We were so proud and happy to do well at the competition. It was the perfect end to a semester of hard work and dedication. From day one we set our goals high and knew we would have to put in a ton of work to get there. We were also really excited to validate the effort of our coaches in preparing us for this competition. I can’t speak highly enough about the skills and professionalism of Mark Zemba, Bruce Horrigan, Mike Sliwinski and Yuri Linetsky,” said Klossner.

Additionally, judges and litigators from around the state were asked to judge the teams and give them feedback. The final round was judged by U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus, Delaware County Judge David Gormley and the State of Ohio’s Solicitor Eric Murphy. Other judges at the event include Judge Richard Frye and Judge Colleen O’Donnell of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

“We had each applied with our coach, Professor Yuri R. Linetsky, to compete on this special team, and we all have backgrounds in public service. While we were dealing with the fictional state of Nataga, our understanding of public sector lawyering has been greatly enriched because of this competition,” said Powell.

The competition replicated litigation that dealt with a telemarketing fraud case. Each law school team presented both the state’s case in addition to the defense’s case.

“This competition was founded to help law students learn about public service legal careers. From prosecutors to representing state agencies to being taxpayer watchdogs, there are many ways public service lawyers help protect Ohio families,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine in a press release. “I applaud Case Western and all the teams that participated in our mock trial competition.”