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Mock Trials . Outreach and Community Involvement. Session Overview. Benefits Preparation Material Selection Conducting Trial Debriefing. Benefits of Mock Trials. Community outreach Courts role in the community Agency partnerships Public involvement Proactive contact

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mock trials

Mock Trials

Outreach and Community Involvement

session overview
Session Overview
  • Benefits
  • Preparation
  • Material Selection
  • Conducting Trial
  • Debriefing
benefits of mock trials
Benefits of Mock Trials
  • Community outreach
    • Courts role in the community
    • Agency partnerships
    • Public involvement
    • Proactive contact
  • Educational opportunity
    • Court processes
    • Roll of Juror
    • Understanding consequences
benefits of mock trials1
Benefits of Mock Trials
  • Partnership with school
    • Juvenile case management
    • Champion the U.S. Judicial system
    • Develop positive attitudes towards your court
  • Student exposure
    • Future involvement as parties, witnesses or jurors in trials
    • Exposure to law-related careers
    • Develop Skills:
      • Critical analysis of problems
      • Strategic thinking
      • Questioning & Listening skills
      • Oral presentation & Extemporaneous argument
      • Preparing & Organizing material
where to begin
Where to begin…
  • Outline critical educational points (goals)
    • Develop questions for Debrief
  • Court personnel involvement:
    • Judicial
    • Prosecutor’s office
    • Clerk staff
    • Law enforcement
  • Contact local schools/agencies
    • Elementary through High School
    • Counselors, teachers, principals, etc.
    • Useful in classes such as: Government, History, Debate, Criminal Justice
    • Establish point of contact and coordination
mock trial types
Mock Trial Types
  • Know your participants & audience
    • Use age appropriate interesting cases
    • Select Type of Mock trial appropriate for group
  • Know your time frame
    • For preparing & implementing
  • 4 Major Types
    • Fully-scripted w/ court staff
    • Fully-scripted w/ students
    • Role Play w/ court personnel as themselves
    • Role Play w/ students as attorneys
fully scripted w court staff
Fully Scripted w/ Court Staff
  • Court staff plays all roles/ students are the jury
  • Appropriate for:
    • Younger students
    • Court staff involvement
    • Quick turnaround time
    • Schools interested in field trips
  • Downfall:
    • Lower involvement level
  • Unscripted Jury
  • Directed verdict
fully scripted w students as players
Fully Scripted w/ Students as Players
  • Students read script and fill all major roles
  • Appropriate for:
    • Middle School thru High School Grade Level
    • Limited staff involvement
    • Limited preparation time
  • Student volunteers necessary
  • More student involvement
  • Unscripted Jury
  • Directed verdict
role play w court personnel
Role Play w/ Court Personnel
  • Unscripted
    • Use a case summary of facts
    • Provide reports & statements
  • For older students
  • Role Assignment:
    • Students: defendant, witnesses, officers & jurors
    • Staff: judge, attorneys, bailiff, clerk
  • Requires more preparation
role play w court personnel continued
Role Play w/ Court Personnel continued…
  • Students have more freedom with their characters and their responses
  • Benefits:
    • Students are more involved
    • Trial is more realistic
    • Authenticity because professionals in own roles
role play w students as attorneys
Role Play w/ Students as Attorneys
  • Appropriate for:
    • High School age students
    • Schools with debate programs
    • Availability for time commitment
  • Benefit:
    • Best learning experience for those involved
    • Judge controls flow of event
role play w students as attorneys1
Role Play w/ Students as Attorneys
  • Preparation:
    • Case selection & story development
    • Schedule attorney meetings with student participants
      • Types of questions to ask
      • Prepare & present opening/closing statements
      • Witness prep
      • Reviews court proceedings, legal terms, what needs to be proved and simple objections
trial resources
Trial Resources
  • Create your case
    • Can choose an interesting case from your own court
    • Look Online
      • Can find Case Summaries & Scripted Mock Trials
      • TMCEC website has both types available
preparing for mock trial
Preparing for Mock Trial
  • Jury summons
    • Secure a list of students that will be attending
    • Prepare summons for jury duty to be given to all students in attendance
  • Subpoena’s for witnesses & officers
  • Provides a sense of reality to the mock trial
  • Prepare all relevant documents
day of mock trial
Day of Mock Trial…
  • Separate actors from potential jurors
    • Review last minute details with players in trial
  • Explain jury selection process
    • Randomize and seat students as you would a jury
    • Explain the process of jury selection
      • Summons
      • Challenge to the array
      • Voir dire
      • Premptive challenges
  • Jury Selection: Attorneys select jurors
    • Select 2 juries if possible
day of mock trial1
Day of Mock Trial…
  • Conduct trial
      • Limit interruptions
      • Time Management
      • Note Observations for debrief
    • At end of trial,
      • Separate the two juries for deliberation.
        • While jury deliberates, discuss trial with audience
day of mock trial2
Day of Mock Trial…
  • Debrief:
    • Focus learning on goals
    • Allows for questions
    • Identify & expand on teachable moments
  • Debriefing process:
    • Review the issues
    • Discuss what can happen during deliberation
    • Discuss strengths and weaknesses of both sides
    • Does our system assure a fair trial?
    • Are some parts of the trial more important than others?
    • Would you trust a jury to determine your fate
  • Practice
    • Trial Type
    • Presentation

San Marcos Municipal Court of Record

630 East Hopkins St

San Marcos, TX 78666

(512) 393-8190

Susie Garcia

Court Administrator

Lindsey Mena

Juvenile Case Coordinator