Thursday, November 18, 2010

Special Guest: Deputy Court Clerk

Thank you to Mrs. Coleman for visiting our Mock Trial group and sharing so much interesting information about our court system! 
She recommended finding more information at

A few things we learned:
Locally there are district courts and justice courts and juvenile courts

There are criminal cases (misdemeanor and felony)
and civil cases.

The bailiff is an assistant to the judge -- often is a law student.

pro se = representing yourself
public defender
domestic court
small claims

Most courts/cases are open -- information is open to the public

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Answer for Physical Evidence Hypotheticals #2

Answer for Physical Evidence Hypotheticals #2

After asking permission to approach the witness,  show the tenant the photograph. Ask the tenant to identify it.
Ask questions establishing that the tenant lives in that apartment building, that he or she uses those stairs, and has used those stairs recently -- the day before the incident being examined in this trial, and on the day of the incident.
Ask the crucial question about whether the photograph represents the condition of the stairs on the day of the incident.

Ask the judge to admit the photograph as evidence.
Be prepared to answer any objections make by opposing counsel.

Back to 

Physical Evidence Hypotheticals

Back to

Physical Evidence Hypotheticals #1

Physical Evidence Hypotheticals #1  Answer

In a real court, the evidence is not marked until after it is introduced.  In Mock Trial we mark it before the trial.

Show Jeff the gun and ask him if he can identify it -- and, if so, how.  (This is called "laying a foundation" and it must always be done before physical objects can be entered into evidence.)
Once the witness has clearly identified the object (in this case the gun), the attorney asks the judge to have it accepted as an exhibit.  If no objection is made, or if the judge overrules the objection, the gun is admitted into evidence.

Back to

Physical Evidence Hypotheticals

Back to 

Physical Evidence Hypotheticals

 Read each of the following.  Think through how you would answer the question, writing it down if that helps you think.  Then check the answer.

You may if you wish use this one as an example of the kind of answer that is expected, so, if you'd like to, go ahead and look as soon as you've read the information. 

#1. Sam is on trial for murder.  The prosecution is trying to prove that he got the gun that was used to kill the victim from a friend's (Jeff's) gun cabinet.  Jeff, who has an extensive collection of both revolvers and shotguns, is on the witness stand.  You are the prosecuting attorney, and you want to get the murder weapon admitted into evidence.  What do you do?

#2.  Mr. Slumlord is being sued in a personal injury case.  A tenant in his building tripped on the back stairs and hurt her back.  She claims that the stairs had been in terrible condition for quite sometime.  Mr. Slumlord wants to prove that the stairs were actually in good condition the day before the tenant's accident, so he has brought a picture of the stairs taken the day before  the tenant fell.  Another tenant from the building is now testifying and, as the attorney for Mr. Slumlord, you want to get the photograph of the stairs admitted into evidence.  What do you do? 

1. List the steps you will take.  You may look back at the list given in this post: 

2. Write out the questions you will ask to lay foundation, and the crucial question. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Special Guest: Our Attorney Coach

Thank you, Mr. Lish, for coming to teach us about being an attorney!