- Slides: 21
MBA Mock Trial Program
What is a Mock Trial? v Trial before a real judge (or lawyer) v Held in real courtroom (State Court) v Examination of witnesses v Introduce evidence and argue objections v “Facts” are fiction; case law is real
Mock Trial Parts v Opening statements v Direct examinations v Cross examinations v Closing arguments v Witness roles
The Mock Trial Team v Prepare both sides: v Plaintiff v. Defense v Prosecution v. Defendant v Each side has: • Lawyers: 3 - 6 • Witnesses: 3
Team Preparation § § Develop the “Theme of the Case” Write parts: • • § § § Q&A Re-write parts Practice in groups of 2 or 3 Rehearse, review, revise, refine. Audition for Roles
Mock Trial Techniques v Introducing a document v Making and arguing objections v Understanding “hearsay” v Use of affidavit to impeach v Expert witness testimony v Confidence in the courtroom
Opening Statements v Brief preview: what the case is about v Introduce yourself and your team v Establish trial theme v Summarize key facts • do not argue the law v Identify witnesses • brief summary of what they will tell the court v Conclusion: theme revisited
Direct Examinations v Witness tells Story • What happened ? • What happened next? v Focus on witness, not lawyer v Usually chronological v Tie in with other witnesses, theme
Cross Examination v Focus is on the lawyer, not witness • Leading questions preferred • Keep the witness from talking v Establish 3 to 4 key points v Do not merely repeat direct exam v Create reason for court to discount direct testimony v Hit it and quit it! Keep it short.
Closing Argument v Review facts presented at trial • Use actual quotes of witnesses v Persuade the judge that you are right • Your facts are the “truth” • You view of the law is “justice” v Strong and sincere • No notes • Remember theme!
The Role of the Witness v Talk to the judge, not the lawyer v Know everything in your affidavit v Do not invent facts v Stay in role at all times v Understand case theory and how your testimony helps your side
Rules of Evidence: Objections Common Objections
When and why to Object v Objections are based on the Rules of Evidence v Only object if testimony will hurt your case v Question and answer will be “in evidence” unless you object v Object in order to keep it out of the record v If testimony is already in, move to strike
How to Object v Timely objections • Object to the question before the answer • Object to the answer before the next question • Object to the document when used or offered v Rise and say, “Objection” • State grounds briefly • Be prepared to argue v Accept court’s ruling gracefully
Introducing Documents v Show to opposing counsel v Mark for identification v Show to witness v “Do you recognize? ” v “What is it” v “Your honor, I offer into evidence as Exhibit #1 the [document] v Defend over objection
Introducing Documents II v ARB-PHU • Authentic: It is what it appears to be • Relevant: Makes some fact needed to prove our case more likely to be true • Best evidence: [not a Mock Trial rule] BUT NOT: • Privilege [Not a Mock trial rule] • Hearsay: Important rule to learn and master • Unduly prejudicial: e. g. , Gory pictures
Confidence in the courtroom v Stand tall v Loud clear voice v Walk smooth and slow v Dress for success v Clean, neat, conservative v Clean table: no clutter
Mechanics of Competition v Performances are scored 1 to 10 • Discretionary points v Team with the higher score wins • Outcome of the “merits” irrelevant v 3 Trials Guaranteed v After that, win or go home.
Our Filosophy v Play Fair v Obey letter and spirit of rules v Lose and Win gracefully v Have Fun