Mock Trial Strategies

Mock Trial Impromptu Topics

Choose one of the following and give a one minute speech.  

  • Talking in phases (trying to use a couple of words at a time) and using gestures where your hands are above your waist, tell us a story about what happened in this case from the Prosecution/Plaintiff’s perspective.

 

  • Talking in phrases (trying to use a couple of words at a time) and using gestures where your hands are above your waste, tell us a story about what happened from Defendant’s perspective.

 

  • You are an attorney for the Defendant in a criminal case. Explain for the jury where the burden of proof lies and what beyond a reasonable doubt it.  Use your arms and hand to illustrate this.

 

  • You are an attorney for the Plaintiff in a civil case. Explain for the jury what the burden of proof is (preponderance of the evidence).  Use your arms and hands to illustrate this.

 

  • Explain why an attorney on Direct Examination, is not allowed to ask leading questions and .how a leading question differs from an open ended question.   Give some examples.

 

  • Explain what hearsay is and give some examples of the exceptions to this rule.  What is the purpose of the hearsay rule?

 

  • Hearsay is an out of court statement that goes to the truth of the matter asserted.  Why is hearsay considered unreliable.  Tell the Court why, as a general matter, be kept out of evidence?

 

  • There is an exception to the hearsay rule for a statement by a party opponent (for instance the Defendant in a criminal case).  Tell the Court the reason for this exception.  Why is such a statement any more reliable than other out of Court statements?

 

  • Using signposting and gestures tell us what makes the testimony of a witness reliable.

 

  • Explain when the objection of relevancy should be made and what an attorney should do if the objection is made against them. (Argue their case). What are the dangers of making a relevancy objection?  What are some tactical reasons to make it?

 

  • Tell us what things makes the substance of a witness less reliable.  Be sure to touch on bias and hearsay.  

 

  • If you were advising a witness on how to appear untrustworthy, what would you tell them? If possible show us things that might make us think someone is not telling the truth.

 

  • Tell us what you think makes a good attorney on direct. Give some examples of what this might look like.

 

  • Tell us what you think makes a good attorney on cross.  Give some examples of what this might look like.

 

  • Tell us what you think we did well in last year’s mock trial and what we could improve on.

 

  • You are the Attorney for Plaintiff, witness says they overhead a neighbor saying something about Defendant.  You have objected based on hearsay.  Explain why the neighbors testimony is hearsay and unreliable.

 

  • You are the Attorney for Defendant in a car accident case   – Prosecution introduces graphic evidence of the blood and injuries at the scene of the accident.  Objects based on relevancy and argue why the prejudicial value exceeds the probative effect.

 

  • The attorney for the other side asks a witness something that significantly affects the case but is not in the mock trial material.  Object and argue why this should be excluded. 

 

  • This is a civil case and Defense attorney wants to bring in evidence of prior settlement negotiations.  Explain to the Court why this should be excluded.

 

  • This is a criminal case for armed robbery.  You are Defendant’s attorney.  Defendant is 32.  Prosecution wants to introduce as evidence a theft that Defendant stole beer from a convenience store when they were 17.  Explain to the Court why this is not relevant.

 

  • A lay witness expresses the opinion that they think Defendant is a guilty.  You are Defendant’s attorney.  Object and argue why this should be excluded.

 

  • Explain the circumstances under which a person’s past character or crimes should be admissible into evidence.

 

  • Explain what you would do to control a witness who is being difficult.
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