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Mock Trial Tips
- Listen to your witness!
- Look at your witness when they answer & pretend that you're listening - even if you're not.
- Your next question should follow from their previous answer.
- Witnesses - talk to the judge.
- Expert Witness
- Qualify them
- Ask their professional opinions
- Never ask a question that you don't know the answer to.
- Never ask "why".
- Lead the witness - only yes or no questions.
- Mark the piece of evidence - this will probably be done before trial.
- "Your Honor, I would like to mark this evidence as People's/Defense exhibit 1/A, etc."
- "Your Honor, please let the record reflect that I am showing opposing counsel what has been marked as P/D exhibit 1/a, etc."
- "Your Honor, may I approach the witness?"
- "Your Honor, at this time I move to have P/D exhibit 1/a, etc. entered into evidence."
- The Judge will ask opposing counsel for objections
Be prepared for possible lack of foundation or hearsay objection.
- Never look at opposing counsel - always at the judge.
- Never talk over the judge.
- Always ask the judge if you may respond to opposing counsel's argument.
- Have the witness' affidavit out and easily accessible before your examination begins.
- When the witness says something inconsistent with the affidavit - begin the impeachment process.
- Show opposing counsel.
- "Your Honor, please let the record reflect that I am showing opposing counsel the witness' affidavit."
- "Your Honor, permission to approach the witness?"
- "You remember making a statement in this case?"
- "You knew to be completely truthful?"
- "You were aware that you had a duty to update that affidavit if new information arose?"
- "Please read along silently as I read aloud Line whatever."
- You will be so tempted to ask "So, in your statement you said X but here in court you said Y, what do you really mean?
- They will give you a nice long answer about the discrepancy and explain it away.
- ARGUE THE INCONSISTENCY IN CLOSING ARGUMENT!