OBA committee member presents Owasso High School Team members with their Oklahoma Mock Trial second-place trophy and medals.

Owasso High School was defeated by Moore High School to finish as runner up in the finals of the 2016 Oklahoma High School Mock Trial Championship for the second year in a row. The final round of competition was held Tuesday evening at the OU Law Center in Norman. The two teams argued a case that focused on the civil prosecution of computer company being accused of capturing a student’s private messages and searches

“The Mock Trial program is a great way for our association to contribute to the education of Oklahoma’s young people,” Oklahoma Bar Association President Garvin A. Isaacs of Oklahoma City said. “The OBA congratulates these students for their hard work, and we are grateful to their teachers for recognizing the importance of understanding the legal system.”

This year’s winners of the best attorney awards were Mariano Avila of Owasso High School and Daniel Lambert of Moore High School. Emma Ridenour of Owasso High School and Juan Martinez of Moore High School 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. Owasso High School was coached by Judge Daman Cantrell, attorneys Rob Ridenour, Ken Underwood, and teachers Kathy Rutherford and Ronda Hatton.

Team members are Tiffany Aguila, Nick Hazelrigg, Baylee Schmidt, Emma Ridenour, Christian Sletten, Ashley Bender, Marina Hatton, Mariano Avila, Lexi Abkemeier, Myla Hay and Jeremiah Willis.

Out of the 36 teams across the state that began competing in January, the other top finishers are, in third place: Bishop Kelley High School; fourth: Ada High School Team Red; fifth: Clinton High School; sixth: Jenks High School; and seventh: Ada High School Team White; and eighth: Calera High School.

Presiding judge for the final round of the competition was Retired Judge Edward Cunningham. Scoring judges were Retired Judge Glenn Adams, Retired Judge Kenneth Dickerson, Judge Shon Erwin, Judge David Lewis and Judge Suzanne Mitchell.

The Mock Trial Program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Nearly 400 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions.

The foundation, through its grants and awards program, allocates funds to nonprofit agencies and programs like mock trial. The mission of the foundation is to ensure justice is possible for all Oklahomans through the promotion of law, education and access to justice. The 18,000-member Oklahoma Bar Association, 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.