2What is this Competition? Simulation of a civil jury trialStudents portray attorneys and witnessesFictitious jurisdiction of MidlandsMidlands has its own case lawMidlands has its own statutesMidlands has its own rules of evidence (that closely mirror the FREs)
3The Championship Case: Elizabeth Ginger v. Max Heisman Brand new caseLast month, Heisman defeated Ginger in the mayoral election for Truman, Midlands. But Ginger claims Heisman won by committing election fraud. Ginger seeks to overturn the result.Civil case Preponderance standardRules of evidence fully in effectEach trial is different because witness selection varies from round to round.Team may not raise claims based on race, gender, or any protected class.
4What is your role?You are here to “judge” the competition. You will do so in panels of two or more individuals.Judges fill three roles:Preside over the trial (one person per round)Score the trial (two people per round)Provide feedback (everyone)Reach a verdict
5Your Role: Presiding Over the Trial One judge will preside over the trial and act as judge in the courtroom—ruling on objections and keeping the trial moving.Trial consists of:Pre-Trial Matters (including introductions)Opening statementsPlaintiff case-in-chief (three witnesses)Customary breakDefense case-in-chief (three witnesses)Closing Arguments (including rebuttal)
6Your Role: Presiding Over the Trial Differences from Real-World trials:Both teams must:Present opening statements at the start of trialCall three witnessesCross-examine all witnesses calledThere are:NO objections to openings or closingsNO motions in limine, for a directed verdict, or mistrialNO side barsNO objections or questions from the judgesNO scope limitations on cross-examination (but scope is limited on re-direct and re-cross examination)NO requirements that expert witnesses be tendered
7Your Role: Scoring the Trial Two judges will score the trial using this blue (carbon paper) ballot.
8Your Role: Scoring the Trial Left = plaintiff/prosecutionRight = defenseScore 1-1010 is high scoreUse whole numbers (fractions/decimals will be disregarded)
9Your Role: Scoring the Trial Score on the blue ballot as the trial proceeds.Please do not wait until the end of the round to decide on scores.Score on your own.Please do not collaborate with other judges on scores.
10Your Role: Scoring the Trial Score differences between teams.Scale doesn’t matter, just be internally consistent.Point differential is what matters.
11Your Role: Scoring the Trial There are SEPARATE scores for:Opening statementsDirect examinationsCross examinationsClosing argumentsWitnesses on direct and cross.There are NO SEPARATE scores for:Pre-trial mattersRe-direct examinationsRe-cross examinationsRebuttalObjection arguments.
12Your Role: Scoring the Trial At the end of the round, please rank the top four attorneys and witnesses from the round.
13Your Role: Scoring the Trial Differences from other competitions:Witnesses are scoredOn both direct-examination and cross-examinationWitnesses are allowed to costumeAttorneys and witnesses are allowed to use demonstrative aids (subject to objection)
14Your Role: Scoring the Trial Differences from other competitions:This competition has NO “invention of fact” objection, but the rules do allow for impeachment if there is an invention of fact.Teams may NOT invent a material fact on direct-examination—such inventions are subject to impeachment.If you believe a successful impeachment has occurred, you should reflect that in your score by penalizing the the violating team, rewarding the impeaching team, or both.All witnesses—except the Defendant—swear to including all relevant facts in affidavit.
15Your Role: CommentingAll scoring judges should receive FOUR comment sheets (more carbon paper):Students will fill out their names, roles, and team code.
16Your Role: Commenting There are blanks to write comments on all parts. Non-shaded boxes are for plaintiff or prosecution parts.Shaded boxes are for defense parts.
17Your Role: Commenting Students will get copies of written comments. After the trial is complete, please provide a few minutes of verbal feedback as well.
18Roles of Others: Students Students act as competitors in the trial.Students’ school identity should remain anonymous until after the round.Note that all trials are public. Do not assume the identity of the teams based on who enters the courtroom.Students act as timekeepers.The trial has a three-hour time limit and each part of the trial has time limits.The students will keep you informed of time limits.Please enforce time limits when you are informed of them.
19Roles of Others: AMTA Representatives AMTA Representatives ensure that all rules are followed.AMTA Representatives may enter the courtroom to inform you of time limit issues, please follow their instructions.AMTA Representatives may enter the courtroom to resolve a conflict brought to their attention by students, please follow their instructions.
20Summarizing: The Big Things to Take Away Presiding:Let students argue, but listen to any time limitations students bring to your attention.Scoring:Score on performance, not merits of the case.Score as the trial proceeds, not at the end of the round.Fill in all blanks on blue score sheet legibly.Commenting:Students will get copies of all written comments.Provide verbal feedback, but keep it to 10 minutes or less for the entire judging panel combined.
21What happens next? You will be assigned to a judging panel. Each panel will be at least two people.You will be assigned to a room.If you have already judged a team in that room at this tournament, then please do not begin the trial and let us know of the potential conflict.If you are somehow affiliated with a team in that room (e.g. your child is on the team), then please do not begin the trial and let us know of the potential conflict.