Rhinelander High School will be defending its Regional championship title Feb. 13, at the 33rd annual Mock Trial Regional Tournament. Last year, RHS broke its own state record by winning its 29th consecutive regional title.
The tournament is sponsored by the Wisconsin Law Foundation and will be held in the Marathon County Courthouse in Wausau. Four rounds of competition will be held, with trials scheduled for 8 and 10:15 a.m. and 1 and 3:15 p.m. The tournament is open to the public.
Rhinelander High School will be represented by two teams. Other high schools participating in the regional tournament are Lakeland Union, Wausau West, Merrill, Phillips, and D.C. Everest.
This year’s case involves the arrest of a homeless person who was suspected of stealing a purse. During the arrest, the suspect experienced a seizure, which the arresting officer mistook for resistive behavior. The plaintiff, Sammie Smid, contends that the defendant, Officer Robin O’Reilly, used excessive force in arresting her, causing traumatic and permanent injury. The Plaintiff also alleges that the defendant was not properly trained by the city. The defense maintains that Officer O’Reilly reasonably believed the suspect was resisting arrest and used the force that was necessary to subdue her. Students will play attorney and witness roles in the competition, which is judged by local attorneys and judges.
The teams are coached by Kathy Vick-Martini, attorney Amy Ferguson, and Judge Michael Bloom.