Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mock Trial Workshop December 7, 2016

Witness Workshop

How to be a Witness. . . .   The purpose is to provide some basic strategies on how to. . .

Develop Your Character
Read your witness statements. . . .
        forward, backward, upside down and backwards
        You can't have any notes.

"Think in Character"
       Write a short biography & include. . .
           (Have you seen the Star Trek movies [or television shows]? -- Mr. Spock -- There is a book by Leonard Nimoy -- He tells how he developed the character of Mr. Spock --Mr. Nimoy developed the character by using things from his own life.  Used experiences, emotions, resources to own that identity of Mr. Spock in Star Trek.

"Think in Character", cont.
        As you write your biography. . .
              Where were you born?      
               Birthday? Year and date?  
               How old?
              Describe the place you live.
                   the town?           the building?
              Favorite thing to do?
              Five of your likes.
              Five of your dislike.
              If I was a movie, what would I be?
              If I was a book, what would it be?
              If I was a car, what would it be?
              If I was a pet, what would it be?
              If I was a song, what would it be?
              If I was an insect, what would it be?

  You begin to think in three dimensions, your character is becoming a real person?
   . . . seeing in color instead of in black and white. . .

"Think in Character", cont.
"Think in Character", cont.
        Categorize Your Character. . . .
Do you see how this can help?
        As your imagination fills in the grey areas. . . A personality will emerge

        Next, talk about yourself (the character) out loud.
        Get parents and friends involved.
    Nimoy, "The more I cloaked myself in the character, the more I became the character."
      Look in the mirror and say "I am you."  "You are me."

Courtroom Basics
Dress appropriately
Sit in order of appearance.
When introduce yourself -- spell your name.  
Remain standing until the whole team has introduced themselves.    Where do witnesses sit? 
"Good evening, you honor. . . . "
Sworn in speak clearly "Yes, I do."
Sit up sraight, don't swivel
Speak up.

Never shake your head or nod,
Cross, yes/no, short answer

Look at judge for explanations
short answers, can look at attorney -- if one-on-one
Always, "Yes, your honor"  "No, your honor."
Stay in character.

If the judge asks you a question, don't panic, you have an answer.

Witness #1
During direct
Know the questions our attorney will be asking.
Practice with your attorney
Appear confident
Make sure you do not have any inconsistencies in your testimony

Physical evidence
Look at the evidence
(attorneys lay foundation)
answer yes or no
Attorneys ask relevant questions and witness answer

Expert witness -- be professional  --

For all, get the information from the witnesses in your examination

Witness #2 -- qualifying an expert witness
During Cross
anticipate questions that will be asked and prepare answers
act confident
always speak loud and clear
be responsive
listen and think before you respond (not too long, but do not rush)
only give the facts as you know them
don't be defensive  be confident,  appear truthful

facts outside record
creating a material fact

Witness #3   cross,  Was the witness nonresponsive? -- attorney replies

You are. . .
the expert on your witness statement
To know your witness statement backward, forwards, sideways,
Practice, practice, practice with both attorneys for cross and direct

Basic Witness Info
statements are voluntary -- sole source of information
cannot be questions on anything you have heard in court or is contained in another personal statement
"lack of personal knowledge."

Attorneys need to protect your witness.

If not consistent -- IMPEACHED!  affects scores big time

hearsay and relevance

You Need to Know. . .

Courtroom example

Witness Impeached

Rules for Witnesses
you cannot use notes
all witnesses must be called -- watch your time
don't waste time
witness statements are the statements given to the police
witnesses may be impeached
witnesses may NOT use costumes, Inappropriate attire or makeup or props
normal speaking voices -- no ethnic or unrealistic accents
Do NOT use a monotone voice

Attorneys can ask for a time check.

Rules for Witnesses
Use normal voices. . .  DO NOT USE MONOTONE.

Final Reminders for Witnesses
You are the expert
know your witness statement
stay in character
Practice, practice, practice

The Objections Game

(don't hold onto the table) What to do when you are making an objection --

Use one of the following
Is it a proper question
Asked and Answered

The defendant is on trial for the murder of Beverly Hills actress Sandra Stiff
Valid Question?
Objection Your Honor?

State your name
state your profession if any

Do you like going to parties?

Where did you happen to be on the evening of December 31st 2009?

Were you personally acquainted with the defendent?
Please tell us when you arrived at Sandra's party?
Did you happen to notice whether or not the defendant ever arrived at the party?
Isn't it true that the defendant had his eye on Sandra all evening?  (speculation?  Leading? )
What, if anything happened while you were at the party?
What did you hear? (hearsay)
What happened next?
What startled you? (after her testimony. . . )
Did you dial 911?
What else did you observe, if anything?
Tell us what you think Sandra was trying to tell you?  (speculation)
While you were with Sandra did you see anything that looked like a potential weapon?

ask for redirect -- if needed -- don't drag out
ask for witness to be excused

Direct of the expert witness

State your name
By whom are you employed
Did you do the autopsy on Sandra Stiff?
When you did the autopsy, did you have any idea what you were doing?  (argumentative)
Do you enjoy your work?  (relevance)
What did the guests at the party say about the time of death?  (hearsay)
Could you tell us the approximate time of death?
Tell us why somebody would want to kill Miss Stiff (speculation)
What did you find as a result of the autopsy thea was performed
How can you expect the judge to believe that?  (argumentative)  (Objection, counsel is being argumentative.)
Doctor, if you can, be more specific about the cause of death
Please, if you could, describe some of the charahcterics of cynide poisoning
Isn't it true that your evidence points to the Defendant?  (leading)
What evidence, if any, did you personally obtain linking the defendant to the death. . . . .

other objections
arguing fact not in evidence
lacks personal knowledge
lack of foundation
See handbook

Where you personally acquainted with the defendant?
answer goes on (narrative)
or nonresponsive
if judge rules against Your Honor, may I be heard
everything after yes needs to be stricken from the record  Ask the judge that this be stricken from the record.       narrating -- nonresponsive?  

Red Flag Words
I think, I feel, I believe -- speculation, opinion -- improper
could, would, should
hear, said, tell

beyond the scope of cross



Friday, December 2, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

We learned about introducing evidence (physical evidence).  See page 24 - 25 in this handbook:

Mock Trial Workshop

Wednesday 12/7/16
4- 6:00 PM
Victoria Dyatt, our Mock Trial Coordinator, will be presenting workshops on "How to be a Witness", "Understanding Objections", and more. 
Date: 12/07/2016 (Wed.)
Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm MST
Location: State Bar Association 645 South 200 East Salt Lake City