Thursday, May 14, 2009

If You're Interested in Mock Trial for 2009-2010

If You're Interested in Mock Trial for 2009-2010

Glance through this blog. Especially read the post about our Final Competition:
Our Final Competition for 2009 published on 3/7/09.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Possible Practice

Literary Characters on Trial

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Message from Mr. Weckel

Congratulations to everyone for a job well done! It's not necessarily the outcome that matters, but the learning that takes place, and the knowledge received by doing.

Our Final Competition for 2009

This message was e-mailed to the faculty and staff of American Fork Junior High.

We can all be proud of our American Fork Junior High Mock Trial Team.

On March 6, we didn't quite win our competition at the Orem Courthouse against Dixon Middle School, though the initial point totals were so close that the judges had to spend extra time deliberating before they could declare a winner. Both teams did a great job.

I have been amazed at what a positive attitude this group has shown about learning from and enjoying the experience whether they won or lost.

It's not easy to be up there, as attorney, bailliff, or witness. The students have to memorize a great deal of material, prepare statements and questions and answers, learn procedure, be able to think on their feet, respond when the opposition comes up with questions and strategies our team wasn't prepared for, and, very importantly, work as a team. It's a lot to ask of a junior high student.

Mock Trial gets kids to think, to reason, to put forth an argument with civility. And it provides them positive experiences with our justice system.

Our case this year was a criminal case -- murder and other charges against a high school student accused of planting a bomb at his high school to get revenge against a gang that had bullied him. We received the case in January, played the prosecution at the end of February, and played Defense on Friday, March 6. Each time our team portrayed four attorneys, three witnesses, and a bailliff.

For the Prosecution our team roster included attorneys Boa, Jessica, Jack, and Kaden, and witnesses Alycen, Breanne, and Kaylynn. Jenseny was our bailliff.*

When we played Defense our team changed to attorneys Alycen, Kaylynn, Jessica, and Jack, witnesses Boa, Jenseny, and Kadan, and bailliff Breanne. Daniel went along as an alternate. *

Encourage students you think might do well at this to join our team next year.

Thanks for your support!


* Last names were included in the message to the school faculty. I have omitted them from this internet post.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Presenting Evidence

Presenting Evidence

See Dianna Pugh Mock Trial at video at about 16:35.

Witness Statements to call into question witness testimony

Is your testimony that. . . .
Your Honor, let the record reflect that I am holding in my hand a copy of this witness's statement. Let the record also reflect I am showing a copy to the opposing counsel.
Your Honor, May I approach the witness.

You did give a statement in this matter?
Would this be that statement?
You were telling the truth when you gave this statement?
Could you please point in the statement to where you said that. . . ?
It's not there, is it?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dali Paintings

You can see more Dali pictures at

Defense Notes

Defense Notes
(also considering suggestions from Xanga = Monte Vista Mock Trial)

Rory Riley
What Riley did was legal, but the investigation was flawed.
--did not immediately call bomb squad
--information taken from anonymous source
-- bomb would have been moved
- students should have known that garbage was emptied after lunch -- the bomb would be discovered. (Think about timing difference between Avery and Kim. Why is what Avery says better for our side?)
no fingerprints on bomb
Casey was surprised by visit -- So, he didn't seem to be expecting a visit from the police?
paint thinner's purpose
Besides as a component in bombs, isn't paint thinner actually more commonly used to thin and clean up paint? If you were to look in other garages, do you suppose you might find paint thinner in others?
Casey owned paint container -- Is it surprising that an artist would own paint thinner? Is it surprising that

Kim Killian
Defense: no fingerprints found on device
- job done by amateurs?
no oxygen pumped in real life -- Was there any device inside or attached to the trash can to pump oxygen into the can?
Ask Kim Killian if there would be only one student at Park Lane who could have put together the device. Please refresh our memories (if prosecution already asked ) -- There were no fingerprints found on the device, correct?

Sawyer Simpson
Defense: accomplished chemist - could have means and ability
did not like Casey - possible motive --
Sawyer was involved in bullying before.
If Casey was credible, if Casey again reported Sawyer for bullying, Sawyer would lose senior privileges.
did not examine trash can -- Wouldn't one student wonder what was in a trash can if another student were looking in it, then looking around as if to see if anyone else were there (saw her looking)?
did not see Casey throw anything in --- no apparent reason to be by the trash can
waited to formulate story -- ?
knew about pictures on R-Place -- How? Why at Casey's rPlace page? if Casey was not among your friends?

Casey Campbell
almost failed chemistry (last year/last term?)- inept bomb-maker? -- or Not the only student at Park Lane who could have made a bomb.
He is an artist. He paints how he feels.
no intentions of acting on thoughts -- studying, imitating Salvador Dali --
sought out counselor first
- was encouraged to continued artwork
- picture of Sawyer made after that meeting -- Can we assume that from the witness statement?
threat was to see counselor -- Threat explained.
would not hurt Jamie -- or anyone else
was known to clean brushes with thinner

Avery Atkinson --
Defense: experience needed - Sawyer had same means and opportunity
Time bombs are hard to make?
It was a stink bomb.
How easy is it to obtain paint thinner and doxene?
intent could not be determined due to tampering (Do we want to to there? Accuse Riley of "tampering" with the bomb. I don't think so. However, we can point out that pictures should have been taken, etc.
minimal damage done by bomb if detonated -- Someone who really intended to do damage/inflict death, injury could have would have created a more potent device.

Cameron Cortez
Defense: anonymous, undisclosed note - would have to be Sawyer -- or could be Sawyer
was a false accusation after full investigation
Sawyer had motive to frame Casey
hearsay evidence by Sawyer
Sawyer closely monitored Casey's activities -- looking at R-Place page, watching Casey that morning at school
- lunch not mentioned by Sawyer ?
- tardiness not typical of a good student

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I am so proud of you all!!! You are absolutely awesome!

Notes on our First Trial

Notes on our First Trial

Suggestions from the Judges:
-- Be aware of the gender of the witnesses -- which you did, and defense didn't, as you noticed!
-- Make use of the redirect. Go in and repair damage done in the cross-examination.
-- Use the facts to prove your case. Develop your theory of the case. Point out descrepencies in your opponents' case.
-- Follow up on a question if it is not answered as you expected, or follow up on a question for which the answer brought out something you really want to emphasize.
-- Witnesses should tell their testimony to the judges. Make eye contact with the judges.
-- In opening, tell what you will show and what facts (evidence) you will use to show it.
-- Be careful about going too far in your claims, especially when you are defense. Your burden of proof asks only that you show REASONABLE doubt. Don't increase your burden of proof.
-- Stand when the judges leave.
-- In cross examination, don't ask questions for which you don't know the answer.
Don't allow (or open up to) speculation.
-- Call the witness on it if what they say doesn't match their statement or something that the defense has said earlier in the trial. (Mr. Weckel, can we -- and how can we -- point out the illogic of what the opposition's attorney's say, when one thing they say contradicts another.)
-- Call the witness on it when they're "waffling."
-- Only the attorney who worked with a witness may object to questions being asked of that witness in cross-examination.
-- Jump all over speculations.

Ms. Dorsey's notes:
-- No tapping on the table, or anything else.
-- No gum once you're in the courtroom. I believe one of our witnesses was chewing gum!
-- No paper airplanes or origami -- This for an individual who shall remain nameless! :)
-- Opening -- Tell what each witness will prove.
--This analogy that the defense used was good: Casey's artwork was "like writing an angry letter to your boss that you never intend to send." Apt analogies can be useful.
-- Make sure you rise each time you address the judge(s).
-- When asked if you have a witness, say something like, "The prosecution calls . . . . "
-- If your witness forgets what is in the statement, you can help him or her by asking, "Did you say in our witness statement that, . . ." Please explain further. "
-- Witnesses, really know your statements!
-- Witnesses, during cross, you are asked yes/no questions, but you do not have to limit your responses to yes and no. Don't agree with them unless you absolutely can't help it. (Right?) But do be honest in the light of the way we understand the case!
-- We gave the defense our exhibits/evidence before the trial. When the judge asks, let him know that you have already provided them with copies of the evidence.
-- I noted several times that you could have taken advantage of the redirect.

-- They asked Atkinson, "What are the conclusions you reached after your expert analysis?"
-- When finished with direct, they stated that they reserved the right to re-examine the witness. They could have done it more politely, such as "With your honors' permission, I reserve the right to re-examine the witness."
-- During direct by the opposition, keep the witness statements in front of you to help you catch anything that doesn't match the witness statement. This is one of the places it would help if the whole team were familiar with all witness statements, as well as the statement of facts.
-- Know how to say the word "pungent."
-- Tell the whole story.
-- Be prepared to respond to objections. Don't just let them shut you down. Also be prepared to defend your own objections.
-- When Cameron Cortez was being asked about why Brady left the school -- there was an objection. Speculation -- Was it overruled?
-- The defenses argument about Casey not being able to build the bomb because he flunked chemistry had discrepencies -- Casey was an officer of the SCIENCE CLUB. Casey was an excellent student. Elsewhere the defense claimed that he flunked because he was being bullied, and also said he flunked because he wasn't good at chemistry. He says he's into pyrotechnics. Isn't that chemistry? We need to decide what our story is about that aspect of the case.
-- When you asked about no one challenging the Crew, Casey didn't remember that he'd said something about that in his witness statement.

-- You may request time to confer as a team before the closing statement.

Comments from our second judge:
Boa: good questions, laid out prosecutions case quite well
Jessica: handled technical material/testimony well, great CX questions. Should consider redirect.
Kaden: Great line of questions. Good use of objections!!! Great presentaion of closing -- focus more on facts, though. Very confident. Consider redirect
Jack: good questions on cross. Careful on CX when you don't know the answer. Speak up a bit.

Breanne or Alycen: Very natural presentation. Handled cross well.
Breanne or Alycen: Impressed with familiarity of tech testimony
Kaylynn: Handled cross very well. Unapologetic.
Breanne and Jack need to speak louder.


Here are some comments from "Laura Pora" -- evidently a seasoned participant in Mock Trial (Thank you!) who viewed our blog:
Actually if you look in your book there is a procedure you can go through with the witness. Or you can say I am referring to your statement, or you may ask the judge to approach the witness,(Make sure you state what you are refering to and show the oposing team), and get them to read from their statement.

A way to communicate between the attorney's instead of talking is using a notepad. Also if you ever get stuck while you are either directing or crossing a witness you can also ask to confer with co-counsil.

In a trial you would say "The prosecution would like to call ___________________ to the stand.

I am referring to your witness statement would be a better way to put it. (Or as in my other comments, ask to approach the witness and ask them to read that part of the statement). If you say "Did you say in your witness statement". That is an objection as you are leading the witness.

When it comes to witnesses you want to start with your strongest and end with your weakeset.

I was reading some other things on your blog, and I have a comment when it comes to talking during the mid break of the trial. We actually had someone last year talk with their coaches, and their coaches talked with them, and since it was their first year doing this they went away with just a warning that if it happened again their team would be disqualified for 2 yrs. It is a very serious thing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Message from Mr. Weckel -- Attorney-Dude

Thanks again for the opportunity to serve your students. Please tell them that I wish them all the best of luck, and that it is in the process of doing that we learn, regardless of the outcome.

Steps in the Trial

Steps in the Trial

(Before: We arrive early to set up. The teacher and baliff talk with the other teacher(s) and baliff, and with the judges when they arrive. )
The teacher welcomes everyone.
The baliff watches for the judges to begin entering, and calls the court to order.
The presiding judge may give some instructions, and will ask the attorneys for each side if they are ready.

A. Prosecution
1) introductions
2) OPENING STATEMENT -- Attorney tells the story, not argue the case.
Have them memorized as much as possible.
Don't use excessive detail, but do clearly tell the story of what happened.

B. Defense
1) introductions
2) OPENING STATEMENT -- Attorney tells the story, not argue the case. (or they may wait until the prosecution has presented their case before they give their opening statement.)

-- allow your witness to present the facts that support our view of the case.
-- your only function is to ask questions, not to testify. An objection may be made if an attorney testifies.

and Cross-Examination by Defense's Attorneys (the judge asks the attorney if he or she wishes to cross examine. -- will use Yes-No Leading Questions

You may request a redirect. Your honor, may I. . . Stand whenever you address the judges.
If the credibility or reputation for truthfulness of the witness has been attacked on cross-examination . . . Only concerned with correcting damage done by cross-examination.
There may also be a recross.

(When we do defense, make a motion to dismiss after all prosecution witnesses have been questioned. )

When we are done presenting our witnesses -- one of our attorneys should state
"The prosecution rests, Your Honors."


see page 15 in the case materials.

V. Judges deliberation and decision

VI. Judges will debrief.
VII. Closing the Court
Baliff closes the proceeding:
"All rise. This Honorable Court is hereby adjourned."

VII. Wrap-Up
We will clean up, review score sheets, etc.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How to Dress for Mock Trial

  • DRESS SHOES (No white socks for boys)
  • STOCKINGS WITH SKIRT OR DRESS for Girls (Very nice dress slacks would work, too.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Special Notes to Our Team

Remember that quiet must be maintained in the courtroom. At no time will you be rowdy or loud.

Make sure you read the post from our "Attorney-dude."

During direct examination of Rory Riley, we will likely need to introduce all three pieces of evidence. Remember to set up a foundation for your request.

However, we could lose points for any uneven distribution of roles. The attorneys need to share the work, and we need to have important evidence to bring out from each witness.

What are we proving from

Don't be afraid to tell our story. Think as if the judge and others in the room do not know what happened so far in this case. We are telling them -- to the best of our understanding -- what happened. (Of course, when we are prosecution, we believe that Casey is guilty! When we defense we believe that Casey is innocent.)


Here are some links to what other schools are doing with this trial:
Notice that these may be from other states whose case materials may be written up differently from ours, but you may get some ideas --

See this newspaper article that details the case: Google "doxene."
Look for "Mock Trial to Deliberate Bomb Threat"

See bomb squad equipment at
I wonder if this is how Kim Killian dressed to diffuse the bomb.
Notice that these may be from other states whose case materials may be written up differently from ours.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Map/Diagram

The Map/Diagram

Hmm? Why do they show the custodian's closet on the map of the school? Casey could have gotten the Doxene from that closet -- knows what else chemicals are used for and how they could be obtained -- bring that out with Kim Killian -- knows what else chemicals are used for and how they could be obtained -- could see where on the map

Casey says he was at school early on April 4 to work on a project in the library. Because of where the door is to the library, wouldn't he have been around the cafeteria patio where Sawyer saw him. That would give him and excuse, and an opportunity to check on his bomb, right?

Where did they have the students leave the school to avoid the patio?

Closing -- Prosecution

Closing -- Prosecution

Thank goodness some student -- we don't know who -- saw the bomb in the garbage can and called Detective Riley.

The Opening of the Trial

The Opening of the Court


“All rise for the Honorable Judges
and ______________________________________________,

The Twelfth Judicial District Court of Park County, State of Utah, is now in session,
the Honorable Judge _____________________________________ presiding.”

If the judge asks you to, announce the case:

“Your Honors, today’s case is State of Utah v. Casey Campbell, Case Number

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Attorney-dude ....

It was fun to work with you guys this week. I think Mrs. Dorsey hit on a crucial point this week. The charge is attempted murder. So the fact that the bomb would not go off and the defense expert will testify to that fact is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that whatever amateur made the bomb was trying to blow the school up. The only suspect that is viable is the defendant, who had the opportunity to do it, and who lived next to the school, and could have easily hopped the school fence after hours and planted the bomb there. A crucial line of questioning for Casey's cross-examinnation if she/he chooses to testify (which he/she may not) (Holy Mackerel, batman) is her reasons for simply looking inside of a trash can. No one looks inside of a trash can unless they have a reason. Also, what was she doing in that area at 6:45 A.M, when school started at 7:30 A.M. These are questions that should be brought out at closing argument. Casey had a motive to hurt the Crew, was troubled enough by them to see a school counselor and release her violent feelings of anger in drawings. Her anger was very strong, so strong that she went public with it on the net. A public display of anger means she wanted to let people know that she was very angry with how the Crew treated him/her. She was so angry that she tried to get the Crew in trouble. Casey's artwork visualized getting back at the Crew by blowng up their area. The bomb was placed in an area where the Crew would be hanging out, and everyone at the school knew the Crew's hideout spot, including Casey. Who else would have a motive to hurt the Crew but someone who did not like them, and everyone else liked them highly. Whoever placed the bomb there was someone who did not like the Crew. The only person who is likely is Casey. And somebody had to have placed the bomb there, so there is no other logical person who could have done it.

Direct for Dr. Kim Killian

NEW* See bomb squad equipment at
I wonder if this is how Kim Killian dressed to diffuse the bomb.

NEW* Hmm? Why do they show the custodian's closet on the map of the school? Casey could have gotten the Doxene from that closet -- knows what else chemicals are used for and how they could be obtained -- bring that out with Kim Killian -- knows what else chemicals are used for and how they could be obtained -- could see where on the map

Direct for Dr. Kim Killian
Dr. Killian -- be prepared to answer the defense if they ask if you are overqualified to be just a bomb technician and supervisor. You could tell them that that this is exactly what you love and have always wanted to do. Besides, you get extra job satisfaction from writing -- for professional publications, and from lecturing at police academies and major universities all over the country. You are well known in your field, and you are very satisfied with where you are and what you're doing.

Dr. Killian is an expert in explosive devices.
degrees from Utah University MS and PhD form MIT
bomb tech 20 years – supervisor for six
author of a field guide used by many bomb squads
covers the topics – timing devices, chemical compositions of explosives, and more
topics directly related to this case
lectures at police academies and at major universities

Have the witness tell the story of April 4 --
Could have been set up to 12 hours before time of detonation --
If that was three p.m. -- It could have been set anytime after three a.m.

Tell the story of dismantling the device -- Kim had full gear on -- protective gear -- taking this very seriously.

Kim should know the term "chromatography" for the process they used to determine how they separated the two components of the liquid in the container.
They have to wear oxygen masks in the chamber.

Powerful enough to blow up the entire side of Park Lane's cafeteria. Anyone within a 60 foot range would have been seriously injured or killed.

this mixter commonly used by amateur bomb-makers because of its effectiveness and availability.


“Have you read the report of Dr. Avery Atkinson?”

emphasize -- it looked amateur (line 23) and was of rather simple construction (line 36) , BUT is appeared to be fully functioning!

Doxene and paint thinner are a volatile combination! See this link for pronunciation and look especially at definition #2.

Cross Examine Casey

Cross Examine Casey
NEW* In cross ask Casey: Do you have, in your room at home, pictures you have created that depict violent scenes.

NEW* Xanga -- Prosecution: has motive against Sawyer
art comes from own conscious
- conscious thought of violence
stated threat against Sawyer
knew where The Crew hung out
was present before school
had access to chemistry equipment
had access to paint thinner

Casey lives on the same street that the high school is on. He says he lives behind the school (line 61) so he is very close to the school.
Has lived there his whole life.
Has been on honor roll up until most recent semester -- intelligent -- treasurer of science club -- likes science, of course. Takes advanced classes -- science, math, English -- line 21.
Involved in a couple of school activities.
Admits "not the most popular" has a small group of friends

claims started being "picked on" by The Crew.
"walk around like they own the school" -- This sounds like "sour grapes," like Casey is jealous.
Line 14/15 -- He knows that the cafeteria's dining patio os their hang-out -- has been since freshman year.
He mentions that "no one has dared to challenge them." DOES THIS BOTHER HIM? Again, is he jealous?
He says he doesn't know way they are "idolized" at the high school, especially Sawyer Simpson. He says they're always invited to parties. This sound like jealousy again.
Casey is really bothered by the popularity of The Crew, of Sawyer -- so much so that he fantasizes about violence against them.

Casey is telling us this "story" about Sawyer and the Crew picking on him and on that kid named Brady to explain the violent drawings, and perhaps to discredit Sawyer as a witness.

Casey can't testify on behalf of Brady! Could we ask Casey if he knows precisely why Brady switched schools? Could there have been a move involved, or a program at the other school that Brady wanted to participate in? (Check Cameron Cortez's statement.)

Almost failed chemistry last semester -- (seems to think that is because of Sawyer-- see lines 32-34)

What artist(s) were being imitated in the paintings in the bedroom? Salvador Dali.

Harassment ? Casey doesn't tell us what Sawyer and The Crew did to harass him on that first day of school. What did he consider harassment? Did they comment on his shoes?
Line 25.
Got shoved -- he doesn't say by whom.
The picture -- his face on the body of a donkey -- line 46 -- He takes photographs and manipulates them on the computer. (How can we bring this out?)

You spoke of a picture that was placed on your locker, right? Someone had combined pictures to put your face on the face of a donkey, correct? Did you say earlier that you "occasionally take photographs and manipulate them on the computer"? (line 46) Thank you.

Lines 38-39 I often imagine there is something I can do about it, and then I draw or paint pictures that express those feelings.
What he would do about it involves violence against Sawyer, and against the school. Why not just Sawyer? Why desire to destroy the school? -- lines 27-30. A lot of students are laughing at him, joking, calling him names, gossiping about him.

He has been feeling frustrated -- line 44. venting it. .. art comes from thoughts in his head line 46.

*consequences for hurting people -- Does Casey understand that there are consequences for hurting people? -- He was fantasizing about hurting people -- enough to take the time to produce (how many?) violent pieces of art.
line 54 The counselor -- Cameron Cortez felt that he was frustrated, upset enough, his feelings were serious enough to need some sort of way to deal with it. He needed a way to deal with his frustration. --

line 58 meaning I would go back to see the counselor -- Ask Casey "Did you say, "You'll be sorry you ever picked on me because I'm going back to see the counselor?" Did you say that?

line 59 -- humiliated -- so upset he tripped -- Do you often blame tripping or other bad experiences on being upset by the actions of others?

Why didn't they call Jamie as a witness? Why is Casey testifying as to what Jamie knows and thinks and says? (objection during direct?)

"Posting the actual drawings on R-Place is just another part of the fantasy." (line 70) --
(Don't people fantasize about things they'd like to do -- often things they would do if they had the chance?)

I want to be someone who is not made fun of. (line 72) Can we refer to other acts of violence at schools -- school shootings?

He feels he has been tortured. (line 75) Even if he has been tortured -- picked on as the boys at Columbine felt they had been -- does that justify planning, preparing, and carrying out a violent attack on those he felt had frustrated, tortured, and humiliated him?

A young man who feels he has been frustrated, tortured, and humiliated . . .

About the day of -- April 4
Hmm? Why do they show the custodian's closet on the map of the school?

Casey says he was at school early on April 4 to work on a project in the library. Because of where the door is to the library, wouldn't he have been around the cafeteria patio where Sawyer saw him. That would give him and excuse, and an opportunity to check on his bomb, right?

Casey is not usually at school that early.

Ate lunch in a classroom by the parking lot.
The teacher is not in the room, so she can't say if he ever left it.
But, why would he call the police about the container -- unless he had a change of heart?

Where is the school's back exit near the athletic fields? Is it the one by the faculty lot? line 86
-- not the usual exit route for an emergency. line 87
"we realized the bomb squad was by the cafeteria" line 88
Who is "we"? How did Casey know that? He was on the other side of the school, right? (See map.) Apparently there wouldn't be any windows from which he could see the patio area.
How did he know they were the bomb squad? Would there truck have been marked?
Here is a definitely marked truck:

When we play defense:
Shouldn't necessarily have Casey testify first.
If a defendant testifies, it sets the tone.
Non-verbals are important as well as verbals
Carefully choose Casey.
The defendant needs to be able to be cross-examined without either exploding (anger) or diminishing (allowing himself or herself to be beaten down).
He/she could lean back in the chair if it's pointed out that he/she did something dumb -- as if it's something a teen would do.

Cross Examine Cameron Cortez

NEW* Xanga --
Prosecution: Casey was being bullied --THOUGHT HE WAS BEING BULLIED - had motive
CORTEZ never saw Sawyer bullying Casey
Sawyer's reaction shocked to accusations
few students at seven to bear witness
saw Casey walking toward dining patio

Cross Examine Cameron Cortez
What is a guidance counselor? "Few careers are as potentially rewarding—or as frustrating—as that of a guidance counselor, whose job it is to help guide and structure children’s educational and vocational direction as they pass through an unstable and confusing time in their lives."

People become guidance counselors because they want to help students, and individuals who leave find many other ways to satisfy that desire: They return to school and become therapists, they head up substance-abuse programs, they run educational centers and programs, they become teachers without counseling duties, and they even become tutors. -- - 79k

So, Cameron Cortez is not necessarily a therapist.

Cortez is a character witness. (When we play defense, don't overlook the value of a character witness.) The situation betwen Campbell and Sawyer may lead to recall the witness.

Cameron Cortez (Ms. Cortez) was UPSET when Casey came to her office, claiming that Sawyer and friends were picking on him.

(line 10) drop in report card -- Are there other reasons besides bullying that a student's grades could drop? Have you ever known of an instance when a student looked for excuses when his or her grades dropped?

line 13 -- Casey was apparently spending a great deal of time thinking about The Crew.
line 14 Casey had ANGER AND FRUSTRATION.

line 17 -- She had suspicions. "I think" Brady had been unhappy for some time -- She doesn't know. Are there any other reasons besides bullying that a student might be withdrawn and miss school?

students drawing violent pictures at school -- do teachers report to you? would you be concerned? would you want to talk with the student? Would you call the student to your office?
Counseled Casey to use art as an outlet for feelings -- feelings that needed an outlet? Could be dangerous if not?
When vandalism takes place or any other crime, shouldn't the administration be involved? Cameron Cortez kept secret from the administration (and everyone else) the existence of the anonymous note she received about Brady.

What Brady told Cameron Cortez is Heresay? Able to clear Brady? How was it a full investigation if a note accusing him was kept secret? No evidence was found to implicate Sawyer -- in the vandalism or the anonymous note.

She keeps saying "I think." She doesn't know!
Do you know, not just think, that Sawyer and The Crew are bullies?
Do you know, not just think, that Sawyer and The Crew were involved with the spray-painting vandalism last year?
Do you know, that Sawyer sent the anonymous note?
Do you know, not just think, why Brady left Park Lane High School?

Should we address (and when) the "strange comment" that Cortez says Sawyer made in lines 32-33?
If people thought that Brady was a grafitti artist -- probably because of what Brady had said -- wouldn't it be hard for him to take when they find out -- because of the grafitti vandalism that he committed -- that he wasn't all that good?

Brady is irrelevant to the current case, but what do we do if defense brings him up?

Though Cortez keeps "a close eye on Sawyer" she is never able to catch her bullying. No other student in the school said that bullying was happening. From Casey's description of what Sawyer and the gang were doing to him, other students would have seen and heard things. Apparently no one did.

Casey, jealous of Sawyer and crew, attempted (without any other students to back him up) to cause trouble for Sawyer.

Sawyer would have smiled and denied the accusations --
the smile could indicate a student realized she hadn't done anything wrong, so there wouldn't be any reason for them to take away her privileges. Of course you'd expect an innocent person to deny false charges.

Suspicions are all that Cameron Cortez has. For some reason Cortez was siding with Casey -- who very well could have been lying to cause trouble for the kids he was jealous of.

Our Sawyer need to be prepared to explain what kind of comments she "aimed" at Casey during their senior year. What sorts of things could she have been saying? (line 49-50)

Is it considered a red flag (something to keep an eye on) when a student who has previously gotten good grades starts failing?

Cross Examine Dr. Avery Atkinson

NEW* Xanga -- Prosecution: easily available materials contained in bomb
inexperienced bomb maker would be ineffective
would still release irritants into the air
failing chemist would not consider oxygen

Cross for Avery Atkinson
Avery Atkinson – invents explosives, ways to deliver them – but is not a bomb technician
expert in military explosives, chemical agents?

Do you, in your work, have the responsibility to diffuse explosive devices prepared by unknown individuals? (the answer should be “no.”)

Is this the witness statement that you made?
line 25 – “I think Dr. Killian exaggerates the effects of the combination. . . . “
Have you ever in experience had reason to exaggerate the effects of a combination of chemicals? Is there any obvious reason you can think of why an expert such as yourself -- or Dr. Killian -- would exaggerate in a trial such as this the effects of a combination of chemicals? Why would Dr. Killian do that? (But that isn’t a leading question – Could it be included in the closing statement? – if we need rebuttal to what Avery says?

You say that time bombs are complicated and sensitive devices, but in your knowledge, do amateurs ever make time bombs? Could an amateur assemble a dangerous, and even deadly time bomb?

If you were working with a combination of Doxene and Paint thinner, would you feel more comfortable working with it in an airtight room? (trying to get to the idea that it might explode in the presence of oxygen).

You assumed that the bomb was placed in an almost full trash can, correct? Were you there to see the trash can? So do you know how full the trash can was?

You say that claim that we can't know when or if the bomb would have gone off, correct?
You also said that makes it hard to determine who the intended target was, or if there were even a target, correct? When someone assembles or attempts to assemble a time bomb, would you assume that they have some sort of intended target? When someone places an explosive device, or an attempt at an explosive device in a public place, would it be reasonable to assume that that person intends to harm someone? (You may get an objection that Atkinson cannot testify as to anyone's intentions. ) (You could answer: Dr. Atkinson is an expert on the use of explosives. I would assume that she would have an understanding of what they are normally used for.)

If defense brings up --

What will we argue when we are defense?
There is simply not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey did this. All evidence is circumstantial?
How do we answer that (and keep our confidence) when we are prosecution?

If defense brings up --
The bomb was clearly not intended to go off . The timer may have been set for 3 p.m. -- according to the prosecution expert -- and Casey would know that the garbage was emptied after lunch (12 something).
We can say that -- They are admitting the possibility that our expert is right, and kids don't necessarily know when the trash is emptied. They would be in class by the time it is.

If defense claims . . . that seeing Casey's R-Place page may have given Sawyer the idea to "frame" him, . . .
Can we object that Sawyer is not the one being accused here? -- as a response to any allegations that Sawyer is a bad player?

Our Story -- Opening

We will show that Casey Campbell -- list the three charges.
Tell our story of what Casey Campbell did.
Now, how are we going to prove that –
List evidence -- and how we will prove it.

horrror/terror at school
We are going to show that

Casey had threatened just two days before -- another student -- and had also posted a violent, disturbing image -- a visual threat -- on the Internet showing what could have been results of the bomb that was planted on April 4.

Team Notes on Direct for Sawyer Simpson

NEW* Prosecution: reported to counselor by Casey
hangs out at the time of detonation
saw Casey the morning of the incident
- examined the trash can
threatened by Casey the week before

Our Sawyer need to be prepared to explain what kind of comments she "aimed" at Casey during their senior year. What sorts of things could she have been saying? (line 49-50)

Sawyer is a lynch-pin in our case.
Her credibility (believability) is vital.
We don't want the court to see her as a "bad-actor" with bad (untrue) facts.
We need to be ready in case defense tries to paint her as one who would frame Casey.

Sawyer had a good reason to be there -- taking a test -- has to get it done before 7:30.
but Casey wouldn't have expected her to be there that early -- in fact, apparently, few people would be around that early. (Why would Casey be there? -- Can't ask Sawyer that)

How well do you know Casey Campbell? Do you know what he looks like?
"I see him in the halls every day." ["I've had classes with him." -- Is this true?]
"Are you sure this was Casey Campbell?" [That she saw that morning by the garbage can.]

Did you have an opportunity to observe Casey on the morning of April 4? / on that morning?
What was his demeanor?/ How was he acting?

Counselor Cortez had said that Sawyer's activities would be taken away if another complaint was received. So -- Sawyer would stay away from Casey -- not risk losing the all-important senior activites.

About Casey's threat -- Casey said that to Sawyer -- so it is not hearsay --

Would Sawyer ever think about hurting Casey? No reason/motivation.
Wouldn't want to lose opportunity to go to prom

Rory (or better yet Sawyer) could use the word "lurking" to describe what Casey was doing early in the morning of the 4th. If defense objects, have the witness link the idea of being somewhere he usually wasn't at an odd time for student to be there, peeking in a garbage as if checking for something, and scanning the area. How about that word "lurking"?

Riley states that Sawyer said Casey had threatened her just two days before -- on Wednesday of that same week.

Why and When did Sawyer go to Casey's R-Place page? How did Sawyer feel when she saw that painting posted on R-Place of the school burning, and a figure clearly labled Sawyer being perhaps blown out of or away from the school? [Can we assume that the builing in the posting looks like Park Lane High School?] -- disturbing --

Team Notes on Direct for Rory Riley

Direct Examination of Detective Rory Riley

NEW* Don't forget to have Rory Riley tell about violent pictures in Casey's room.
Ideas from Xanga Team: Prosection: igniter could be found in high school labs
could be setup earlier
amateur job - by student?
volatile substance when exposed to oxygen
Doxene available to everyone
- janitor's closet nearby
contained irritants
blast radius of 60 feet
no other purpose

Introduce all three pieces of evidence. -- We need to practice doing it!

1. Rory Riley is a qualified, competent police detective. Detective Riley is a seasoned police officer. She is used to being on the witness stand.

(Rory Riley will share her story of what happened on April 4, 2008.)
phone call

Line #9 -- If it had been a longer call, would she have ever been able to recognize a voice?

*This was a threat to the school – it is important to establish this since it speaks to one of the counts Casey is charged with.
Detective Riley needs to explain just how she conducted the investigation – step by step – each step was reasonable.

Things to note – Should Sawyer be asked about if she made the call on April 4, or if she saw the bomb \? She never says anything in her statement about looking in the garbage can or calling to report the bomb.

The principal goes with the Detective while she searched the campus.

The trash can the bomb was in was the one closest to the tables – There was another trash can by the wall (See the map.) Whoever planted it planted it to be closest to where students could be sitting.

Seems that the only things on top of the bomb were “lunch remains.”

Detective Riley (who had bomb training as a cadet -- Defense may bring up that this would have been 13 years or more ago, implying that she may be getting rusty concerning bomb training. Could she reasonably reply that she has handled other cases with explosive devices.) recognized the device as a bomb. She took it seriously enough to treat it as bomb, had the school evacuated and called in the bomb squad.
Rory Riley followed proper procedure, directing that the school be evacuated, then calling the Police captain, then calling the bomb squad. She stayed near the dining patio to "make sure no one came near the area."

She reports that the bomb squad disabled the bomb, then took it to the lab for analysis.

Can we infer from her statement that she actually came in to work early on Saturday morning? She was apparently very concerned that the case be solved -- the perpetrator found. After all, the lives of kids were threatened.

As a police detective, she understands reasons why there may have been no fingerprints.

Rory (or better yet Sawyer) could use the word "lurking" to describe what Casey was doing early in the morning of the 4th. If defense objects, have the witness link the idea of being somewhere he usually wasn't at an odd time for student to be there, peeking in a garbage as if checking for something, and scanning the area. How about that word "lurking"? "suspicious"

R-Place Posting
Riley had RECENTLY been trained on using the Internet to do investigation, so was able to find Casey's R-Place page -- and saw the disturbing, violent image that was posted there -- in his latest post. a disturbing, violent picture showing a school burning [can we assume it looks like Park Lane High School] and a figure clearly labeled Sawyer -- being blown out of the building -- not running or walking out -- Just two days before, Casey had verbally threatened Sawyer, and on this R-Book page had posted a visual threat. Verbal and visual threats.

This was enough -- the testimony of another student that Casey was in the area where the bomb had been planted --- early in the morning -- not hurrying to a classroom to do extra work, but peeking into a garbage can -- the can where the bomb was later found -- scanning the area, as if checking if there had been anyone to see him, then walking away.

If defense brings up --
The bomb was clearly not intended to go off . The timer may have been set for 3 p.m. -- according to the prosecution expert -- and Casey would know that the garbage was emptied after lunch (12 something).
We can say that -- They are admitting the possibility that our expert is right, and kids don't necessarily know when the trash is emptied. They would be in class by the time it is.

The Search Warrant:
What does a police officer need to do to obtain a search warrant? Does he or she have to present the judge with some evidence that a search is a reasonable measure in that case?

How did the judge respond when you requested a search warrant for Casey Campbell’s residence?

Riley HURRIED down to the Campbell home --
Casey seemed surprised -- that could go for or against us
SEEMED surprised?
sat on the couch
an almost empty can of paint thinner
many drawings
strange twist to drawings
why green skin on Casey and friends? (jealousy?)
Park Lane -- the High School -- "in various stages of disarray" in other words, messed up!
violent drawings in notebooks by the bed == MANY of the characters labeled as Sawyer

Monday, February 16, 2009


See the 2009 Mock Trial Handbook, page 46. Note that there is nothing about winning or losing the case itself.

Key Points to Remember

See the handbook page 34 - 35.


Bailiff: Stop time during objections.
The 2009 Mock Trial Handbook
In the handbook:
See page 6 for times allotted.
See page 11-17 for procedures.
See also page 39 for Guidelines.

Things You Need to Know!


During a mid-break in the trial. You may talk with each other as a team, but you may not communicate at all with your teacher, attorney coach, parents, or anyone else.
Let your parents know this if they plan to come.

If you bring a phone, I will have a bag to keep it in during the trial.

Take this case to the kitchen table. Talk about it with your family, practicing putting it into plain language.

Notes on this case:

Do not expand the facts bases on what you know abut a school setting. However, you may make reasonable inferences based on the world given to us on paper.

Kaden and Alycen: Be aware that the opposing team will question Riley's choices. The legality of what Riley did is, however, not in question. There is no constitutional objection to the search. However, the defense may call into question the method and manner of the search.

Kaden: Consult with your colleagues before closing. Respond to what happened in the courtroom. See handbook, page 38.

Boa: For the opening statement, prepare to tell the story. Have metaphors and crafted phrases to use. See handbook, page 36.

Jack: The defense is using Cameron Cortez as a character witness. Remember that after you cross-examine the defense may recall Cortez, and further question him/her.
When you cross-examine Casey, make sure you've listened to and watched his/her previous testimony closely. Take notes. Do the same for Cameron Cortez.

Jessica: When you cross-examine Dr. Avery Atkinson (appropriate to call him/her Dr. Atkinson) you could focus on the intent: Can you tell what the builder thought it would do?

Boa: We need to emphasize the reasonableness of Sawyer's explanations.

Alycen: Remember that you (Detective Rory Riley) are used to being on the witness stand. You had probable cause for each step you took in your investigation of the case. Each step you took was appropriate.

Witnesses need to know:
About Direct:
Handbook, page 37.
About Cross: Handbook, page 38.

Attorneys need to know:
Direct: Handbook, page 36.
Cross: Handbook, page 37.

Lose yourself in the role. You are a professional attorney. Your desire is to present this case to the best of your ability. You work as a member of a capable team of attorneys, and you have prepared your witnesses well.

Tell the story of the case clearly, in sequence, in opening and in closing.

How to register an objection.

Attorneys: Have the "guts" to interrupt with an objections, but as you do it be civil and professional.
Leave the courtroom as colleagues and friends with the opposing team.

Object if a fact or detail is not found in the witness statement or statement of facts.
However, opinion or interpretation (inference) is okay.

You may use plain language for an objection if you understand the premise (the reason for it).
You should be able to explain an objection, and speak to (answer) an objection.

Be prepared to cite page and line numbers of the statement of facts and of the witness statements -- particularly if you are impeaching a witness. You will have copies of them at your table.

Bailiff: Stop time during objections.

How to appropriately establish a witness as an expert.
Seeking designation as an expert witness --
-- qualifications, -- length of time in the field (experience), -- specific expertise

How to introduce a piece of evidence (exhibit), including laying foundation.

How to prepare and present a line of questioning.
Plan what you will say if objected to on relevance.
How to draft an opening or closing statement.

You need to know that lawyers make plenty of mistakes. If you are stuck, ask permission of the judge to go back and consult with our fellow attorneys.
(That shouldn't count against you.)
There is grace in conceding an error. Adapt in the moment as needed.

If you know the stipulations (p. 85) you will be able to argue against any objections that might involve them.

Weapon of Mass Destruction

Weapon of Mass Destruction
76-10-401 Utah State Legislature Amended by Chapter 12, 2008 General Session

6) (a) "Weapon of mass destruction" means:
(i) any item or instrumentality that is designed or intended to cause widespread death or serious bodily injury to multiple victims;
(ii) any item or instrumentality that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
(iii) any disease organism, including any biological agent, toxin, or vector which is used or intended to be used as a weapon;
(iv) any item or instrumentality that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life and that is used or intended to be used as a weapon; or
(v) any substance or material or combination which has been prepared or altered for use in the creation of a weapon described in Subsections (6)(a)(i) through (iv).
(b) "Weapon of mass destruction" does not include firearms or rifle, pistol, or shotgun ammunition, reloading components, or muzzleloading equipment.

See page 66 in the M.T. Handbook

Notes on Feb. 11

Thank you to Mr. Ted Weckel for coming to help us!

Attorney: "Good afternoon. Please state your name for the record."
Ask who, what, where, when, who questions.
If in cross examination the witness is beginning to narrate instead of directly answer your question-- "Your honor, would you please instruct the witness to answer my question?"

Mr. Weckel suggests that we start with the bomb -- the most powerful evidence.

We may need to redirect Sawyer.

"We've already covered that."
if objection for Hear Say, not using for the truth of what the counselor told her, but to show how it affected the witness -- impact
Continue How did the threat make you feel? (take away every argument you can)
1. saw Casey
2. wouldn't risk it
3. knows what she's doing -- wouldn't make one like that.

Order of witnesses? Sawyer first?
What teen wouldn't want to be Sawyer?

"Turning your attention to April 4, where were you at 6:45 am?
How did you know it was 6:45?

Casey to counselor -- confidential, privilege?

What she draws is representative of her plans?
Is Sawyer cocky? (As prosecution, we need to show that she is not.)

Fact statement
Our theory

Bomb to scare?
garbage cans a convenient place to plant a bomb -- may not have been targeting anyone in particular (defense?)more

expert witness -- introducing?
be familiar with counts
presenting physical evidence

evidence -- motive
Boa -- "Who would have done this?"
people in painting tinted green

define weapon of mass destruction

Monday, February 2, 2009

Video to Watch -- Mock Trial Nationals

Video to Watch -- Mock Trial Nationals
Go to
and click on either of the video clips.
Watch for objections and answers to objections.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Utah Law Related

This is the organization that sponsors the Mock Trial Program. You can find the case materials here. This year's case will be available sometime after January 27.

Link to Lots of Information

Go to