Mock Trial Teams Head To Semifinals

February 25, 2022

Eight teams from Jenks, McAlester, Moore, Oklahoma City, Owasso and Tulsa will participate in the 2022 Oklahoma High School Mock Trial semifinals. The rounds are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 28 in Oklahoma City at the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and in Tulsa at the Page Belcher Federal Building.

The winning teams will compete in the final round on Tuesday, March 1 at the OU College of Law in Norman for the state championship title. The final round judging panel will feature Retired District Judge Edward Cunningham as the presiding judge.

Scoring judges include:

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Noma Gurich
  • Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judge David Lewis
  • Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma Janice Loyd
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma Judge Charles Goodwin
  • US Magistrate Judge Shon T. Erwin.

The Oklahoma champion will compete in the national competition in Evansville, Indiana, in May.

“The competition gives students a unique opportunity to develop public speaking and critical thinking skills while encouraging interest and an appreciation of our judicial system,” OBA Mock Trial Committee Chair Todd A. Murray said. “These skills, together with developing self-confidence, team building and leadership will benefit them in whatever career path they choose.”

Coaching Jenks High School’s Team The Truth are attorneys Morgan Medders, Stacey Accord, Jenny Day and Michael Horn and teachers Michael Horn, Danielle Frost and Dana Mackay.

Jenks’ team members are Tara Valadkhani, Kayla Cao, Jordan Wallace, Audrey McGee, Aaron Siebert, Elaine Gao, Bryce Olsen, Jacob Batscha, Grace Phelps, Mikiah Perdue, Jolie Abdo, Amy Stephenson, Mitchell Horn and Lauren Clarey.

Coaching McAlester High School’s Team Black is attorney Matthew Sheets and teacher Wyatt Freeman. Team members are Ashley Cathey, Emilee Coxsey, Autumn Fields, Eva Hanes, Aaron Manning, Laynee Marshall, Hailey Merrifield and Avery Pate.

Coaching McAlester High School’s Team Gold is Judge Tim Mills and teacher Wyatt Freeman. Team members are Rosary Comer, Logan Gentry, Hayden Graham, Kaden Hearod, Jolee Hood, Kaylee Irvin, Harold Marcum, Madson Mattioda, Khayli Ross and Mackinsey Tighe.

Coaching Moore High School’s team is attorney and teacher Cliff Heckert. Team members are Aikira Engle, Ryan Floyd, Lucas Jones, Kyndall Lentz, Garrett McDonough, Jill Moody, Devin Smith, John Shumate, Essyncee Williams and Jonas Wollman.

Coaching Oklahoma City’s Cornerstone Christian Academy’s team is attorney Jennifer Lawmaster Stall and teacher Anne Risch. Team members are Madison Allen, Kate Cheng, Caroline Molloy, Jackson Clark, Nicholas Simon, Logan Spencer, George Leydorf, Jack Miller, Charlie Peterson and Jamy Plinsky.

Coaching Owasso High School’s Team Zip, Zap, Zok is Judge Daman Cantrell, attorneys Ken Underwood, Maegan Murdock and Kaylind Baker and teacher Kelly Murphy. Team members are Marley Hutchins, Seth Wyrick, Aidan Green, Kayla Gross, Katelynn Gurley, Terressa Evington, Morganne Grobe, Ava Brigman, Lauren Hughes, Katelyn Wiehe and Alyson Bushey.

Coaching Tulsa’s Bishop Kelley High School’s team is attorney A.J. Hofland and teacher Colin Manning. Team members are Morgan Abbound, Bella Abelle, Jason Asombrado, Julia Bush, Ellyce Hughes, Connor Maresca, Lauren Weil, Talley Rowan and Emma Williams.

The competition involves teams of students taking on the roles of attorneys and defendants in a fictional case. The mock trials are presided over by a judge and attorneys in a courtroom setting, where individual and team performances are evaluated.

The case this year is a criminal trial stemming from a peaceful protest gone awry. The murder victim was one of the organizers of the intended peaceful protest, who died during a clash between groups that were exercising their constitutional rights as citizens of Oklahoma and the United States.

The Mock Trial Program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the OBA Young Lawyers Division. More than 300 judges and attorneys volunteer their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions.

The Oklahoma Bar 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.