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Clinton High School Wins State Mock Trial Championship

Clinton HS Mock Trial
Clinton High School team members proudly display their Oklahoma mock trial championship trophy and first-place medals.

Clinton High School’s Gold Team defeated Jenks High School’s Purple Cobra Team in the final round of competition to claim the Oklahoma High School Mock Trial Championship for the second year in a row.

The final round of competition was held Tuesday evening in the Bell Courtroom at the OU Law Center in Norman. The two teams argued a case that focused on a student suing his former university after being expelled.

Oklahoma Bar Association President Jim Stuart of Shawnee said, “The Mock Trial program is an excellent way to present information to students about the workings of our legal system. Both teams did a great job arguing their side of the case, and I am confident the Clinton team will represent Oklahoma well at the national competition in Indianapolis in May. The OBA Young Lawyers Division and Oklahoma Bar Foundation are pleased to sponsor the mock trial program.”

This year’s winners of the best attorney awards were Gerardo Marrufo of Clinton High School and Ashley Wilson of Jenks High School. Quinn Weedon of Clinton and Kendall Hughes of Jenks were chosen as the best witnesses.

The judges evaluated the students based on their familiarity of the case and the formulation of their arguments. Students received points for each phase of the trial, opening, direct and cross examination, closing argument and how well their witnesses responded. Teams are paired with volunteer attorney coaches. Clinton’s attorney coaches are Julie Strong and Judge Jill Weedon.

Clinton’s team is also coached by teacher Kathy Kelley, who said, “The Oklahoma Mock Trial program is a wonderful learning experience for students. They learn critical thinking skills, communication techniques, facilitation in groups and respect for the laws of our country. I have watched my students grow in their competitions from a fairly localized level to the national stage and can attest to the dedication, knowledge and confidence they possess because of this program.”

Next, the team is looking forward to preparing for nationals. Kelley said the team’s focus will be to buckle down and get better on its objections and responses. OBA Mock Trial Committee members will assist in the preparation. The team placed fourth in the national competition in 2012.

Clinton team members are Dayana Burrios, Jailene Canales, Sarah Hill, Londyn Limes, Gerardo Marrufo, Conner Meacham, Logan Moser, Emily Steffes and Quinn Weedon.

Jenks attorney coach is Mike Horn, and its teacher coach is Tim Sloan. Team members are Lucas Bohannon, Jacob Downs, Bailey Fischer-Columbo, Allison Hellwege, Kendall Hughes, Courtney Kayiza, Benjamin Krick, Morgan Medders, Samantha Rogers, Carter Ross, Wan Seo Park, Zachary Smith, Duncan Stewart and Ashley Wilson.

Out of the 36 teams across the state that began competing in January, the top finishers are, in second place: Jenks High School; third: Ada High School; fourth: Broken Arrow High School Team Black; fifth: McAlester High School; sixth: Moore High School Blue Team; seventh: Okarche High School: and eighth, Southmooore High School Varsity Team.

Retired Judge Edward Cunningham served as presiding judge during the competition finals. Scoring judges were Justice Douglas Combs, Justice Noma Gurich, Judge Shon Erwin, Judge David Lewis and Judge Carl Funderburk.

Nearly 400 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions. Nicole Longwell serves as YLD Mock Trial Committee chairperson.

The OBF bestows annual grants that advance the science of jurisprudence and promote the administration of justice throughout Oklahoma. Its mission is "Advancing education, citizenship and justice for all.” The 17,000-member OBA, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.