NHS Mock Trial Team advances to state competition

Kent Weeklies
Elizabeth Waight participates in competition.
Julia Dulaney testifies during competition.
"Attorney" Matt Kerosky during competition.
Pictured from left,  Robin Ghotra, Natalie Wurts, Julia Dulaney, Rory Maynard, Elizabeth Waight, Darayus Sethna, Riley Jarosz, Stella Naymik and Matthew Kerosky.

For the second time in six years, the Nordonia High School Mock Trial team is advancing to State competition, one of only 19 teams in the entire state to do so.

Over 300 teams throughout Ohio competed against each other in District competition on Jan. 22. Nordonia High School defeated Georgetown High School and St. Ursula Academy to advance to Regional competition on Feb. 19, where almost 100 teams competed. Defeating Westerville Central and Dublin Jerome, Nordonia's team is now advancing to State competition to be held virtually on March 11-13.

This year's case took an inside look at the justice system by examining what prosecutors are required to disclose during plea negotiations. In the fictional case inspired by real events, a defendant pleaded guilty, but a year into sentence, found out that a key eyewitness had recanted testimony shortly before the trial was to start. Filing a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, the case argues whether the legal standard established by the Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland requires prosecution to turn over exculpatory evidence only during a trial or before a trial as well. The students argued whether the precedent applies to plea negotiations.

The teams are coached by Farhad Sethna and Endre Szentkiralyi.