Four local teams have advanced to the next round of the Ohio Mock Trial Competition.

CANTON Mock trial teams from Jackson, GlenOak, Hoover and Lake high schools have advanced to the next round of the competition.


More than 3,000 high school students participated in the initial round of the 37th annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition on Friday, including locally at Stark County Common Pleas Court and Canton Municipal Court.


Sponsoring the statewide event is the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization.


The 2020 mock trial case focuses on the differences between on-campus and off-campus First Amendment student speech.


A fictional plaintiff is suing their former high school and high school principal for alleged violations of their right to free speech.


Each mock trial team consists of five to 11 students who assume the roles of witnesses and attorneys to present both sides of an original, unscripted case based on a constitutional issue, according to a news release from Canton Municipal Court.


Across the state Friday, more than 1,000 legal professionals served as volunteer judges, competition coordinators and team advisers, the news release said.


Stark was among 25 counties hosting the Ohio Mock Trial District Competition. Other host counties included Medina, Summit, Tuscarawas, Cuyahoga and Franklin.


Local mock trial volunteers included Stark County Common Pleas Court and Canton Municipal Court judges as well as municipal court magistrates. Several local attorneys also assisted with Friday’s district competition.


Teams advancing from the district round will compete in the regional competition on Feb. 7.


GlenOak, Hoover Orange, Jackson Purple and Lake Blue teams will be participating in the regional round.


A total of 10 teams participated in Stark County’s district competition, including one from GlenOak, two from Hoover, three from Lake and four from Jackson High School.


Regional winners will advance to the state competition in March in Columbus.


The 2020 state champion team will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Evansville, Ind. in May.


The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is sponsored by the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation, according to the release.


Reach Ed at 330-580-8315


and ed.balint@cantonrep.com


On Twitter @ebalintREP