MOCK TRIAL ASSIGNMENT
Written Pre-Trial Assignment (50 points)
This will be completed by all students. You are to complete a written pre-trial document. It is to be typed. It shall be submitted on the first evening of the trial, April 15, 2013. Retain a copy for your use during the trial. Your paper should be between 4-8 pages in length. It should include the following:
A. VOIR DIRE
1. Describe what strategy the Plaintiffs should employ in the jury selection process. List some questions you would ask prospective jurors in order for you to determine whether they have any bias that might make it difficult or impossible for them to render a fair and impartial decision based on the evidence of the trial, or whether they might be the kind of juror who might be more sympathetic to the Plaintiff’s case or the Defendant’s case.
2. Same as above, except from the Defendants’ viewpoint.
B. OPENING STATEMENT
1. Write a brief opening statement for EITHER the Plaintiff or the Defendants. This will be your opportunity to tell the jury before the trial starts what you believe the evidence is going to prove. This should be informative, but persuasive and passionate.
2. If you are a member of the Jury Panel, who may elect to orally deliver your Opening Statement at the beginning of the Trial, in order to earn additional participation points.
C. LEGAL ANALYSIS
1. Describe what elements need to be proven by the Plaintiff in order for her to establish her Negligence case, and what facts you might expect will be admitted at trial in support of each of the elements. In other words, what does the Plaintiff need to prove to win her Negligence case?
2. Describe what the defendants will need to prove in order to utilize any available defenses (i.e., Comparative Negligence, Assumption of Risk)
D. CLOSING ARGUMENT
This is your final opportunity to address the jury and convince them that your client should prevail. Write a short closing argument for the party for which you did NOT prepare an Opening Statement. In other words, if you choose to prepare the Opening Statement for the Defendants, write the Closing Argument for the Plaintiff.
Mock Trial Participation (100 points)
A. ATTORNEYS FOR THE PLAINTIFF
1. Interview your client and the Plaintiff’s witnesses in order to learn the facts of the case. 2. Work as a team with your client and witnesses to formulate a trial strategy. What facts will you need to prove to establish the negligence of the Defendants? 3. Consider whether you wish to create documentary evidence to use at trial (photos, reports, bills, charts, etc.) Assign responsibility for the creation of those documents. 4. Consider what evidence you would like to obtain from the Defendants through Discovery, and prepare appropriate discovery requests 5. Work on distribution of tasks at trial. 6. Discuss voir dire strategy. 7. Prepare responses to discovery requests of the Defendants.
You will be expected to collaborate with your co-counsel in preparing for and in presenting the trial. You should dress and act the part of an actual attorney. You should be professional and convincing. You are expected to be courteous and civil with other attorneys, parties, and witnesses.
B. ATTORNEYS FOR THE DEFENDANT
1. Interview your client and the Defendant’s witnesses in order to learn the facts of the case. 2. Work as a team with your client and witnesses to formulate a trial strategy. What facts will the Plaintiff need to prove to establish her claim of negligence against you? What facts will you need to prove to establish any available defense to the claim of Negligence (Comparative Negligence, Assumption of