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Presentation for Judges

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  1. Presentation for Judges

  2. What is this Competition? • Simulation of jury trial (civil or criminal) • Students portray attorneys and witnesses • Fictitious jurisdiction of Midlands • Midlands has its own case law • Midlands has its own statutes • Midlands has its own rules of evidence (that closely mirror the FREs)

  3. What is your role? • You are here to “judge” the competition. You will do so in panels of two or more individuals. • Judges fill three roles: • Preside over the trial (one person per round) • Score the trial (two or more people per round) • Provide feedback (everyone) • Reach a verdict

  4. Your Role: Presiding Over the Trial • One judge will preside over the trial and act as judge in the courtroom—ruling on objections and keeping the trial moving. • Trial consists of: • Pre-Trial Matters (including introductions) • Opening statements • Plaintiff case-in-chief (three witnesses) • Customary break • Defense case-in-chief (three witnesses) • Customary break • Closing Arguments (including rebuttal)

  5. Your Role:Presiding Over the Trial • Differences from Real-World trials: • Both teams must: • Present opening statements at the start of trial • Call three witnesses • Cross-examine all witnesses called • There are: • NO objections to openings or closings • NO motions in limine, for a directed verdict, or mistrial • NO side bars • NO objections or questions from the judges • NO scope limitations on cross-examination (but scope is limited on re-direct and re-cross examination)

  6. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • Two or more judges will score the trial using this blue (carbon paper) ballot.

  7. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • Left = plaintiff/prosecution • Right = defense • Score 1-10 • 10 is high score • Use whole numbers (fractions/decimals will be disregarded)

  8. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • There are SEPARATE scores for: • Opening statements • Direct examinations • Cross examinations • Closing arguments • Witnesses on direct and cross. • There are NO SEPARATE scores for: • Pre-trial matters • Re-direct examinations • Re-cross examinations • Rebuttal • Objection arguments.

  9. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • Score on the blue ballot as the trial proceeds. • Please do not wait until the end of the round to decide on scores. • Score on your own. • Pleasedo not collaborate with other judges on scores.

  10. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • Score differences between teams. • Scale doesn’t matter, just be internally consistent. • Point differential is what matters.

  11. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • At the end of the round, please rank the top four attorneys and witnesses from the round.

  12. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • Differences from other competitions: • Witnesses are scored • On both direct-examination and cross-examination • Witnesses are allowed to costume • Attorneys and witnesses are allowed to use demonstrative aids (subject to objection)

  13. Your Role:Scoring the Trial • Differences from other competitions: • This competition has NO “invention of fact” objection, but the rules do allow for impeachment if there is an invention of fact. • Teams may NOT invent a material fact on direct-examination—such inventions are subject to impeachment. • If you believe a successful impeachment has occurred, you may reflect that in your scores however you wish.

  14. Your Role:Commenting • Whether scoring or not, all judges should receive FOUR comment sheets (more carbon paper): • Students will fill out their names, roles, and team code.

  15. Your Role:Commenting • There are blanks to write comments on all parts. • Non-shaded boxes are for plaintiff or prosecution parts. • Shaded boxes are for defense parts.

  16. Your Role:Commenting • Students will get copies of written comments. • After the trial is complete, please provide a few minutes of verbal feedback as well.

  17. Roles of Others:Students • Students act as competitors in the trial. • Students’ school identity should remain anonymous until after the round. • Note that all trials are public. Do not assume the identity of the teams based on who enters the courtroom. • Students act as timekeepers. • The trial has a three-hour time limit and each part of the trial has time limits. • The students will keep you informed of time limits. • Please enforce time limits when you are informed of them.

  18. Roles of Others:AMTA Representatives • AMTA Representatives ensure that all rules are followed. • AMTA Representatives may enter the courtroom to inform you of time limit issues, please follow their instructions. • May enter the courtroom to resolve a conflict brought to their attention by students, please follow their instructions.

  19. Special Rules for This Year’s Case:Park v. Duran • Summary: In 2010, Sydney Park invited classmate Jesse Duran to hang out at the Parks’ home. Both children were 11 years old. The Parks keep a gun in their home. That morning, the gun was discharged, killing Sydney. Sydney’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jesse’s parent, Hayden Duran. • If you have heard this case before, be aware that you may see a very different round this time because: • The Plaintiff team gets to choose between two very different theories of liability, and the Defense team has the option of raising affirmative defenses. • The teams are choosing witnesses from a pool of twelve options. • There is also one of the witnesses has two very different depositions and may differ significantly between rounds.

  20. Summarizing: The Big Things to Take Away • Presiding: • Let students argue, but listen to any time limitations students bring to your attention. • Scoring: • Score on performance, not merits of the case. • Score as the trial proceeds, not at the end of the round. • Fill in all blanks on blue score sheet. • Commenting: • Students will get copies of all written comments. • Provide verbal feedback, but keep it to 10 minutes or less for the entire judging panel combined.

  21. What happens next? • You will be assigned to a judging panel. • Each panel will be at least two people. • You will be assigned to a room. • If you have already judged a team in that room at this tournament, then please do not begin the trial and let us know of the potential conflict. • If you are somehow affiliated with a team in that room (e.g. your child is on the team), then please do not begin the trial and let us know of the potential conflict.