Thursday, January 18, 2018

Competition Dates

Our competitions will be on
Friday, February 23  from 9:00 to 11:30 am at West Valley Justice Court


Monday, February 26  from 1:00 to 3:30 pm at The United States District Court of Utah

Round of 16 Eliminations are Wednesday, March 7  from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.Qtr Finals  are Tuesday, March 13  from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.Semi-Finals -- Single Elimination Friday, March 16 1:00 - 3:00

-- so a quick turn-around.

I will post here the play-offs, too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 Case

Civil Suit:
Justin Hall, a minor child and the only son of Jesse Hall, sustained serious injuries on June 29, 2017, while attended the ForensiTech forensic science camp at Morgan University in Morgan, Utah.  . . . Justin fell down a mountain . . . sustained a spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia and a serious concussion leading to long-term impairment.

The lawsuit is against ForensiTech, Inc.

Introduction of Case by Judge Chinn
students relate to case

How the parent is portrayed will make a big difference.
at time of discovery -- a minor
discovery of diabetes -- after application
exhibits 1-3-4-9 do not require same   Stipulation 2b --
must prove duty, breach, causation, damage 

bifurcated -- monetary separated

attorneys -- ability to be concise and to articulate in your opening how approach summary of what witnesses will testify about and identify the critical witness the court should pay attention to.

who is the critical witness for the plaintiff -- not necessarily the expert
the expert provides critical info, but

not an ordinary negligence case -- must be gross negligence

page 70 -- elements of Gross negligence
falling short of duty of care--  must articulate

defense is comparative negligence -- does not rise to the claim of gross negligence

Parent release -- stipulation -- release effective against ordinary negligence, not gross negligence -- must point that out briefly in opening
how they perceive their approach to claim

Stipulation #3-- can hint at damage later  two-phase trial   (may affect scores)
mention bifurcated trial -- we are not going to talk about damages but we will prove  
we're not going to go into a monetary amount -- will be for a later date for this court to decide 
-- showing that you understand the nature of the trial

Note the defendant

excessive negligence

must believe the position you take

must be able to address 2. Minors, page 71 -- 

ordinarily a 14 year old does not make these types of decisions

It is rebuttable -- a 16 year old is not going to call  forseeable and say "I have type  diabetes, so you'll need to have snacks for me."
so cannot be held to an adult standard

Must articulate the standard, the burden of proof  
preponderance -- briefly mention what it means to have this standard  -- in opening mention

by the end of the day's trial, we sill have proven that
don't argue it in opening statement
by the end of the trial we will establish by preponderace

Affidavit --
(a lot of roughage)
move into the meat of the manner

can use roughage to develop character   -- convincing character


Jesse Hall -- Parent  -- must convince you about
standard 14 year old
parent knows the minor
suing on behalf of the minor
acting in full consideration of everything he knows about the minor

Paragraph 2 --
(witnesses -- not verbatim)  avoid exact language  --
mature, but getting out of paying for a nanny, calling every evening

Justin's Friend  --

Expert --

When talking about moving Justin -- guide's training -- were they as careful as they should have been?
Did they do anymore damage then? 

Both experts got paid money -- not critical

comparative negligence
Justin to blame for his own diabetes emergency and fall/injury

Critical witness for defense -- counselor

Kyle Kaiser
New Rules of Evidence

formatted to look more like Utah and federal rules of evidence

separated rules and guidance -- How to  -- in an appendix  (do not cite to a judge --)
Do not have to refer to objections by number
Judicial notice -- wouldn't usually use judicial notice -- on January 2 at 2 in the morning, the sun isn't up -- could ask court to take judicial notice, but prob. not

Privilege -- most likely won't come out

Important stuff:

Hearsay -- drastically changes -- still really hard
an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the statement
does not matter if in court or not

exemptions -- affidavit
statement by opposing party, admission by party opponent
someone who is party to the case, offered against them, 801D -- not hearsay

parent of minor child
stip 1C  -- can't testify  -- not a party opponent must come in under hearsay objections because the parents are bringing the lawsuit

more exceptions now
purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment
records of regularly conducted business activities
judgments of previous conviction

declarant unavailable
dying declaration

Lay Witness and Expert Opinions
lay witnesses opinion not relevant
if based on rational perception, helpful to factfinder  --  fun to fight about (drunk, speeding)?
Expert -- tender this witness in the area of  -- gone now 
no one tenders in court anymore

What you do is to lay the foundations, then just ask the expert the expert opinion questions?
Other team can still object that expert isn't qualified -- after expert opinion question

Can put resume in as evidence --

Invention of Fact 
in rules of evidence -- can point out to judge
creation of a material fact 
 -- not in the affidavit --  and likely to affect the outcome of the trial
Cross -- if asked about a fact not in the statement -- -- may answer consistent with their statement even if not in it (Don't say, not in my statement.  can if it is material. better to say I don't know.)
Attorney -- object under invention of fact fule -- asking for a fact not in this witness's statement which would materially affect the case

Can impeach and refresh witnesses recollection
Can't (shouldn't)  impeach on immaterial -- could for material fact

Character Evidence (really hard!)
cannot use a character trait to prove that the person acted in conformity with this trait
cannot use a prior act to prove conformity with that prior action

exception -- if convicted of crime
particular type of lock pick -- found also in this case --

Exclusion for Prejudice, confusion, waste of time   -- 403 (known by number)  
cumulative questions, compound questions
when a piece of evidence is relevant, but so unfairly prejudicial to
probative value outweighed by risk of being unfairly prejudicial -- not sustained very often

convicted of crime -- not related to the current issue -- prejudicial


Appendix -- Guidance
How to object

*   Beyond the scope -- not allowed in cross -- cross-examining attorney -- has access to full scope

assumes facts not in evidence
After -- when did you start -- no evidence that ... happened

arguing facts not in evidence -- closing -- can object -- Your honor --at end of argument  facts in closing argument not in the case -- argued in closing -- not established in the case


Etiquette -- proper behavior in the courtroom at all times.
score on Instagram -- have to identify your school/team

Attorney Coach -- 2 CLE credits for attending meeting and coaching the team

marking on the exhibit -- not allowed -- changed fact in case materials -- no laser pointer
"the demonstrative"
no pointer sticks -- no prop -- no magic marker
size --
up to 24 x 36
can place the exhibit stickers --
can use the numbers that exist
if you want an easel, bring it


Mrs. Dyatt

Code of Ethics Roster -- turned in at first trial
Can designate a parent -- prior to the students coming in. . .
Roster for Virginia
scratch or legal yellow pads, pens