January 18, 2020
Kenston’s two Mock Trial Teams competed at Districts in Painesville, where they argued about the extent to which a school principal may restrict a student’s First Amendment freedom of speech rights. Chloé Peiffer, Laura Parsons, and Madalyn Blackford were each named the “Best Attorney” in their trials. Victor Como, Margaret Eibler, and Jackson Strauss were each named “Best Witness” in their trials. Kenston defeated Perry High School and Andrews Osborne Academy, but unfortunately Lake Catholic eliminated both Kenston teams from going to Regionals. Also competing valiantly at Districts for Kenston were Dominic Alandt, Elizabeth Bryan, Nathan Gaskins, Weston Gaskins, Frank Hegedus, Ciani McKinney, Nicole Price, Chase Tuller, and Madeline Worsdall. Isabella Benz worked hard throughout the season but was unable to attend Districts.
October 3, 2019
Mock Trial Informational Meeting Monday October 21 at 2:15 in A112. This year’s case challenges students to examine if or when it is permissible for a school to restrict off-campus student speech. In the spring of 2019, Trillium High School senior Rory Maldonado held a pro-gun ownership demonstration at a local park. They were subsequently punished by Principal Blake Varga. While the speech in question did not take place on school grounds, Principal Varga acted to quell the speech due to a supposed disruption of the school environment. Students must decide if the school and Principal Varga acted unconstitutionally in punishing Rory Maldonado. This case celebrates the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines. If you are interested in joining the Mock Trial team but cannot attend the informational meeting, please email Coach Voudris at stephan.voudris@kenstonapps.
June 10, 2019
Mock Trial is a fun academic competition against other high schools where students portray an attorney or witness and participate in an original, unscripted simulated trial based on a packet of case law and witness statements they receive when practices start. Students argue both sides of the case in real courtrooms across the state and are scored by panels of lawyers and judges. Students learn first-hand about the law, court procedures and the judicial system. The coaches are all attorneys. A Mock Trial team consists of 5-11 students playing the part of an attorney or witness. Last year, Kenston had two teams of seven students each. We will create as many teams as necessary so that everyone interested may participate. We don’t have try-outs; everyone is welcome. One of Kenston’s teams tied for ninth place at States last season.
March 11, 2019
KHS’s Mock Trial team ends its season in a tie for 9th place in the State out of the original 320 teams competing at Districts. Congrats to Madeline Worsdall, Dominic Alandt, Chloé Peiffer, Frank Hegedus, Sam Selent and Laura Parsons who competed with valor, winning one and losing one in Columbus. Laura was awarded Outstanding Witness in both trials at States. The Kenston Unreasonable Doubt team went 5-1 during Districts, Regionals and States. This is only the second year that Kenston has had a mock trial team. The team is coached by lawyers Jennifer Troutman, Jonathan Witmer-Rich and Stephan Voudris. Special thanks to the Orange High School Mock Trial team for scrimmaging against Kenston for the last two years and also to Fred Snook for helping coach acting and presentation skills in preparation for Regionals and States.
February 21, 2019
STATE BOUND! For the first time ever, a Kenston mock trial team has qualified for States! Only 29 out of 320 teams (and more than 3,000 students) competing at Districts qualified for States by winning all four of their trials at Districts and Regionals. Congrats to Madeline Worsdall, Dominic Alandt, Chloé Peiffer, Frank Hegedus, Laura Parsons, Sam Selent and Tia Speece, who defeated traditional powerhouses Mentor H.S. and Orange H.S. at Regionals on Feb. 15 and Andrews Osborne Academy and Lake H.S. at Districts on Jan. 18. At regionals Sam and Tia earned Outstanding Attorney awards and Madeline and Dominic received Outstanding Witness awards. This is only the second year that Kenston has had a mock trial team.
January 19, 2019
For the first time ever, a Kenston mock trial team has qualified for Regionals! Congratulations to Dominic Alandt, Sam Selent, Frank Hegedus, Laura Parsons, Tia Speece, Chloé Peiffer and Maddie Worsdall, who qualified for Regionals while competing in the Lake County Common Pleas Courthouse in Painesville by defeating teams from Andrews Osborne Academy and Perry High School. Both wins were on unanimous decisions by three judge panels consisting of real judges and attorneys. Chloé and Tia earned the Outstanding Attorney award in their respective trials, while Laura was declared the Outstanding Witness in both trials! Congratulations also to Maggie Eibler and Amelia Witmer-Rich for winning the Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Attorney awards during their trial in the Summit County Common Pleas Courthouse in Akron, where they competed with fellow teammates Josh Walls, Anthony Cowoski, Maddy Blackford and Emily Zeiler against Lake High School and Green High School. Special thanks to legal advisors Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich, Esq. and Jennifer Troutman, Esq. The team has been practicing hard since mid-October and has four weeks to prepare for Regionals.
1/19 Lake, Geauga schools compete in mock trial competition (News-Herald)
November 29, 2018
The KHS mock trial team is working hard to prepare for its January 18 competition. The team is in its second year of existence and has doubled in size from last year.
October 3, 2018
This year’s case challenges students to consider an individual’s right to privacy in our increasingly technological world. In September 2018, Quinn Woolf was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and telecommunications fraud for stealing $120 million from the State of Buckeye’s pension fund. The state alleges that Quinn used a private, alpha-numeric code to hack into the state’s digital wallet and drain the funds. The state is basing its claim on drone footage captured from 400 feet in the air. The footage was enhanced to show Quinn Woolf sitting under a gazebo in the backyard of the Woolf residence with a notebook and a laptop. The enhancement revealed an alpha-numeric code written in Quinn’s notebook that matched the code needed to access the state’s account. The defense has filed a motion to exclude the drone footage, claiming that police violated Quinn’s Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. The motion hearing will focus on the need for a search warrant; specifically, if the contracted drone operator qualifies as a state actor and if Quinn had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
January 28, 2018
Kenston’s first ever mock trial team successfully competed in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas on Friday, defeating Cornerstone Christian Academy and narrowly losing to Mentor High School. Congrats to Jake Riscili, Frank Hegedus, Savannah Georgian, Sam Selent, Tia Speece, Emma Nidy, and Weston Gaskins for being founding members of the team, and thanks to Attorney Coaches Jennifer Troutman and Jonathan Witmer-Rich for the countless number of hours they spent volunteering to coach the team for three months.
The 2017-18 case was inspired by the popular podcast Serial and asked students to participate in a trial regarding whether a new trial should be granted to Adam Smith, a student convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend. Almost twenty years after being convicted, Smith filed a petition for a new trial, alleging that his original attorney mishandled cell phone evidence in his case and failed to pursue a potential alibi witness. Smith’s original trial attorney was disbarred only a few years after his case. The trial focused on whether there is a reasonable probability that Smith would have been found not-guilty at the original trial if he had a competent attorney.