GALLIA COUNTY — River Valley High School students recently took part as a five team ensemble in the mock trial program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education with competitions held in Marietta and Portsmouth.
Four students took home the recognition of “Outstanding Attorney” those students being Sharla Moody, Destiny Williams, Brianna McGuire and Leanne Hively.
“I am incredibly proud of the RVHS Mock Trial team this year,” said Gallipolis City Solicitor Adam Salisbury, who also assists with local program.
According to the city solicitor, the school district decided to invest the extra time and expense to include juniors in the competition, and, as a result, the school fielded more than 50 participants that were split into five teams. Mock trial is a nationwide educational extracurricular activity where students argue both sides of a fictional civil case. This year’s case revolved around the election of a fictional governor who may or may not have lost his bid for reelection because of a “fake news” story. The facts of the mock trial were timely and the students were engaged with the material, working over breaks and meeting after school. Each team consisted of attorneys and witnesses for both the plaintiff and defendant, a bailiff and a timekeeper.
Current Gallia Common Pleas Judge M. Margaret Evans and retired Common Pleas Judge Dean Evans volunteered to host the students in the Gallia County Common Pleas Court for a dress rehearsal. For three hours, they gave the students a chance to argue their cases in real courtrooms to real judges before the competition and offered insights and advice at the conclusion of each case. Because RVHS had so many teams (most schools have one or two) they had to travel to different competition sites, Marietta and Portsmouth. Of the five teams, four of the teams won the “Outstanding Attorney” award from their mock trials.
Mock trial is held every January and Mrs. Cindy Graham has been the teacher sponsor for RVHS’s program for approximately 15 years.
Students who took part in the mock trial program were: Nathaniel Abbot, Rayanna Adkins, Jillian Anderson, Yolanda Andre, Kenzie Baker, Alyssa Bennett, Sophia Branham, Kelsey Brown, Branton Burd, Jenna Burke, Hailey Burris, Abbey Campbell, Jacob Campbell, Maggie Campbell, Kaylee Carter, Abby Coleman, Hunter Coon, Haley Cox, Jeremiah Dobbins, Celina Dray, Robert Drummond, Bradyn Eblin, Thomas Edgar, Chance Gillman, Grant Gilmore, Allison Hale, Hannah Hawks, Beverly Hess, Leanne Hively, Hawk Horn, Shania Hunt, Erin Jackson, Haley Kirk, Kaylee Lambert, Alyssa Lollathin, Jarret McCarley, Devan McGhee, Brianna McGuire, Sharla Moody, Hollis Morrison, Myles Morrison, David Mullins, Jacob Oehler, Emily Perry, Olivia Phoenix, Ian Polcyn, Colton Provens, Natosha Rankin, Kylie Reagor, Dawson Russell, Robert Schuhl, Kaylee Shultz, Jessica Sorbara, Jonathon Spencer, Jessica Steele, Madison Tabor, Caitlin Theiss, Angelique Toler, Arianna Trout, Destiny Williams, James Yongue, Garrett Young and Madison Young.