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Mock Trial Procedures

You and the Law

There are 2 sides:

Crown

Responsible for proving beyond a reasonable


doubt that the accused committed the crime.

Defense

Responsible for finding their client not guilty for


the crime they are being charged with.

Burden of proof!

Reasonable Doubt

The prosecution has a burden.

Their job is harder than the defense.


The burden is called, Beyond a reasonable doubt.

Therefore, the defense just has to create doubt!

So how do they do it?

The trial:

Opening Statements

Prosecution goes first.


Defense goes second.

The trial

Why do you think the Prosecution gets/has to go first?

Direct examinations
Cross examinations

Closing Statements

Prosecution, then defense


Rebuttal by Prosecution. (offering a contrary argument)

Why do they get a rebuttal?

Opening Statements

Imagine a movie preview.

Always phrased, We are going to show you


that or We will prove that or You are
going to see

Give the jury an idea of what is coming.


Never phrase it, We already showed you, or This
person did this
Why? They havent seen the movie yet!

3 minutes long

Examinations

Prosecution gets to direct examine their witnesses


first.

Direct Examination:

Example of whats right:

Example of whats wrong:

Isnt it true that you loaded the gun the night before you killed
your husband?

The witness has to tell the entire story.

Tell us where you were on the night of or What happened after


you went to your locker? Then what did you do?

The attorney may not Lead the witness in any way/shape/form


to the answer.

Rule of thumb: If the answer is yes/no, then you cannot ask the
question in Direct Examination

Examinations

Cross Examination:

This is a hostile examination. One sides attorney


against the other sides witness.

They are from opposite teams.

After the direct examination, the witness stays on the


stand, and the cross-examiner approaches.

Control the witness!!! Always ask them to answer all questions


with a yes/no unless asked otherwise.
Examples of what is okay: almost anything!
As long as you are controlling the witness, leading and nonleading questions are OK.

Examinations

Re-Direct If you still have time (5 minutes


for direct, 3 minutes for cross), then the
direct examiner may re-approach and
clarify anything brought up in the crossexam. Nothing new.
Re-Cross same as Re-directmust have
time remaining.

Objections:

Sometimes an attorney is breaking the rules:

You need to protect your witness and your case.


Only the attorney responsible for the witness on the
stand may objectnobody else on the attorney teams!!!

Judge can either

Sustain (says its a good objection and doesnt allow the


question to be answered) or
Overrule (says its a bad objection, that question should
be answered.)

Objections

Leading
Argumentative
Badgering
Speculation
Foundation
Hearsay
First-hand knowledge
Ultimate Issue
Asked and answered
Outside the Scope

Leading

Can only be used when a direct examination


is happening.

Asking yes/no questions

Stating a question that has the answer built


in to it so the witness just has to confirm the
attorney is correct or incorrect.

Examples
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What did you have for lunch?


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Not leading

You had a chicken ceasar salad for lunch,


didnt you?
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Leading

Examples
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Isnt it true, you have no siblings?


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OK in a cross examination

How many siblings do you have?


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This is what you would ask in a direct


examination

Argumentative/Badgering

Arguing with the witness.

Did you do this? No. Are you sure you didnt


do this? Yes. Positive you didnt do this? Yes.
You did this, why arent you admitting to
it?!?

Badgering

Arguing with attitude.

Speculation & Foundation

Speculation Asking the witness to try and guess at what


might have happened if circumstances were different.

Lets say you went home insteaddo you think or What do


you think might have happened if

Foundation Only happens on Direct examinations. This is


a big one

If the attorney has not established foundation for a question, they


cannot ask it.
Example: First question of the direct exam, So when you were at
the partywho did you see drinking alcohol?

It hasnt been established that there was a party, with drinking at it,
and the witness was actually at that party and saw people drinking. All
of that must be established first.

Hearsay/First-hand knowledge

Asking questions that the witness doesnt know


from first-hand experience is not allowed.
Was Jeshuan drinking that night?

Well, I heard (Objection! Hearsay.) that he was


drinking.

Yes.

So was he?
How do you know?

I heard from Susie

Ultimate Issue

Cannot ask, straight up, with no foundation,


Did you commit this crime? to the
defendant.
Thats the ultimate issue everyone is here
trying to solve.
EX: the defendants mental state

Asked and answered

Sometimes an attorney will ask the same


question over and over again.

You killed him? Yes


So you really killed him? Yes
Like shot him in the face and he died? Yes

Outside the Scope

Questions asked that do not pertain to the


packet/trial.
Can also be called an Irrelevant Question

Establishing a witness as an expert

Only one type of witness may actually speculate


and that is an expert witness.
But they must be established as an expert during
the direct examination.

What are your credentials? Witness lists his/her


background/academic credentials.
Your honor, Id like to establish this witness as an
expert in his/her field.
Judge: Are there any objections from the
prosecution/defense?

If none the witness is declared an expert by the judge and


they may now speculate on certain things.

The rule of 3

You want the jury to hear important things


3 times!
But what objection does this sound like?

Closing statements

Typically written as the trial is progressing.

The attorney giving the closing will know what


his/her side will be proving and attempting to
prove so they can write some of it before the
trial.

The end

After the closing, the jury is sent out to


deliberate the verdict.

Lets Review
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n
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Get with a partner. The oldest will be


partner A, the youngest is partner B
Partner A puts their notes away and is
quizzed by B. Try and stump them as much
as possible!
After ___ minutes, switch. A tries to stump B.
The A and B who has the best record
(questions correct/questions asked) gets a
prize from me tomorrow.

Lets review

Groups of 3 (1 witness, 1 direct examiner, 1 cross examiner)


Pick a theme (Ex: The Hunger Games,
American Idol) and approve it with me.
Make a 1-2 minute skit including three of
the following objections:

Asked and answered


Hearsay
Leading
Being Argumentative

Have fun and be dramatic!