Before participating in a mock trial, it is important to be familiar with the events that take place during the trial and the order in which they occur. There are two basic types of trials: Jury Trial and Bench Trial. A judge hears a bench trial.
Observe the following rules in the courtroom AT ALL TIMES:
• Rise when addressing the judge;
• Direct all remarks to the judge or witness, NEVER to opposing counsel.
• Ask permission from the judge before approaching the witness or bench.
1. OPENING OF THE COURT
A. The bailiff calls the court to order. The bailiff announces to the parties, attorneys, and the audience: "All rise. The _________________Court of Hawaii is now in session, the Honorable Judge _____________ presiding."
Everyone remains standing until the judge enters AND is seated. The bailiff then says, "Please be seated."
B. The judge asks the clerk to call the day's calendar (also called the "docket"), at which time the clerk says, "Your Honor, today's case is _______________________."
The Judge may ask team members to introduce themselves.
The clerk will stand and raise his/her right hand. The clerk says: "Please raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you are about to give will faithfully and truthfully conform to the facts and rules of the mock trail tournament?
Witness should answer, "I do."
Clerk responds by saying: "Please be seated. State your name for the court and spell your last name."
3. OPENING STATEMENTS
A. Plaintiff (or prosecution) begins with the opening statements.
Attorneys should introduce the case in the future tense. (i.e., "...the evidence WILL show...the witness WILL testify..."
B. The defense attorneys follow with their opening statements. The defense attorneys can give their opening statements after the plaintiff or after the plaintiff presents their evidence. For purposes of this tournament, the defense attorneys WILL give their opening statements following the plaintiff.
4. DIRECT EXAMINATION
The plaintiff's attorney conducts the direct examination or questioning of all of its own witnesses. At this time, testimony and other evidence is presented. The purpose of direct examination is to allow witnesses to develop the facts in support of the case.
After the attorney for the plaintiff has completed questioning of the witness, the defendant's attorney cross-examines the witness. The cross-examiner seeks to clarify or cast doubt upon the testimony of opposing witnesses. Inconsistency in stories, bias, and other damaging facts may be pointed out to the judge through leading questions.
After plaintiff calls its final witness, the plaintiff should inform the court that the plaintiff has no further witness and rests its case.
The defense will begin its case by calling its first witness.
A closing argument is a review and analysis of the evidence presented.
A. Attorney for the plaintiff reviews and analyzes the evidence as presented, indicates how the evidence has satisfied the elements of the charge or claim, points out the law applicable to the case, and argues for a judgment for the plaintiff. Plaintiff's attorney may reserve time left over for rebuttal. Rebuttal is limited to the scope of the defense's closing argument.
B. The closing argument for the defense is essentially the same as for the plaintiff. It should indicate how the evidence does not satisfy the elements of the charge or claim, stresses the facts favorable to the defendant and asks for a judgment for the defense.
C. Rebuttal (optional) by plaintiff's attorney.
THE PEOPLE v. BILLY FATAL: A Mock Murder Trial
The facts: 1. James Tucker called police at 10:00 p.m. on November 15, 1998.
2. Police found Warren Oates' body in the storeroom of the Blue Goose Club.
3. Oates was shot twice in the chest.
4. A .22 caliber revolver was found in the storeroom.
5. Billy Fatal was arrested.
THE QUESTION: Whether Billy Fatal is guilty of the murder of Warren Oates?
Assuming the roles of judge, defense and prosecuting attorneys and their assistants, the defendant, witnesses, court reporter and bailiff, the students will learn the mechanics of a criminal trial. There are two parts to the case: 1) The pretrial phase where lawyers examine witness testimony, analyze evidence, study relevant law and settle upon the elements for their case; 2) The trial, where the prosecution and defense decide which witnesses to call to the stand, select a line of questioning, object to the opposing attorneys' statements when appropriate and cite legal examples to the judge.
James Tucker, Manager of Blue Goose Club
Detective Jones, officer investigating the crime
Dr. Know, Toxicologist and Coroner
Jim Taylor, witness at the Blue Goose Club
Officer Don St. James, arresting Officer
Bambi Johnson, Barmaid at the Blue Goose Club
Jessica Oates, Widow of Warren Oates
Billy Fatal, defendant
Betty Fatal, wife of accused
Mary Baker, witness at the bar
Luke Snyder, Parking lot attendant
Paul Conger, Ballistics expert for the defense
Bobby Fatal, twin brother of defendant
Billie Jean Fatal, mother of the accused
Defense Witnesses Billy Fatal Defendant Defense Witness
Fatal says he and Oates began arguing over a $20 bet made on a game they had been watching on television. Fatal claims that Oates began getting very angry when Fatal tried to make him pay the debt. Fatal claims that the manager of the club asked that they either be quiet or go into the back room to settle the dispute. Fatal testifies that when they got into the back storeroom Oates began calling him obscene names and pushed him against the wall. Fatal says he went out into the club, went to the cash register, and got a gun from under the counter. He then went back into the room. He testifies that when he entered. Oates came at him with a knife. Fatal says he then pulled the trigger as a natural reaction and Oates fell to the floor. Fatal says he panicked, dropped the gun, and ran out of the club.
Betty Fatal Wife of the accused Defense Witness
His wife testifies that Billy came home very upset, saying he had accidentally shot Warren Oates during an argument at the Blue Goose Club. She says that about 45 minutes later the police arrived and arrested Billy for murder. Betty states that her husband and the deceased were friends who frequently met at the Blue Goose Club. She also states that on many occasions her husband had talked about Oates' violent temper.
Billie Jean Fatal Mother of the accused Defense Witness
Mrs. Fatal is a character reference. She will testify that her son has never have a bad temper. Both her boys are good boys and are never in trouble. Billy used to tell her about Warren's violent temper. Her boys never even fought when they were younger. She knows he likes to watch football but doubts that her son would gamble.
Bobby Fatal Twin brother of the defendant Defense Witness
Bobby Fatal testifies that he was at the club at the same time as his brother. By coincidence, they dressed in similar clothes. Bobby says that he saw Billy and Warren go into the back room because they were getting too loud. He says he then went to use the restroom. While in the restroom. he heard a pop and thought something fell off a shelf in the storage room which is next to the restroom.
Luke Snyder Parking lot attendant Defense Witness
Luke testified that his job is to oversee the cars in the lot and make sure that drunk people don't drive home. He says he thought he was seeing double when Fatal and his twin brother left the bar that night. They were dressed alike. They moved quickly to his stand to retrieve their keys. The stub was punched at 9:52. They did not even leave a tip. They sped out of the parking lot quickly.
Mary Baker Witness at the bar Defense Witness
Ms. Baker says she knew both the accused and the deceased. She claims that Oates was known to have a violent temper and sometimes carried a knife. Baker says she was in the club on the night of the shooting. She testifies that she overhead an argument between Oates and Fatal but did not know what the argument was about. Baker says she saw Fatal and Oates go into the back room. About five minutes later, she says she saw Fatal come out, go the end of the bar, pick up something and return to the back room. She says she then heard a shot and saw Fatal run out of the club.
Paul Conger Ballistics expert for the defense Defense Witness
Conger testifies that he has 5 years experience with testing and evaluating shooting deaths across the state. It is his opinion that the angles where the bullets entered the body suggests that there was a struggle and the bullets entered the body as Oates was falling backwards and landed face down. (Be prepared to show if asked with another person how you feel Oates struggled and was shot)
Bambi Johnson Barmaid at Blue Goose Club Prosecution Witness
She testifies that she saw the manager tell Fatal and Oates to go to the back room or get out of the bar. James Tucker was waving his arms as he spoke to them as though he was irritated by their behavior. She was busy waiting on customers, but she noticed Fatal standing by the cash register, but since Tucker had spoken to Fatal she did not give it a second thought. She also testifies that she saw Fatal leave quickly out the front door. Fatal and Oates were regular customers at the bar.
Detective Jones Officer investigating the crime Prosecution Witness
Jones has six years experience as a homicide detective and four years experience as a patrol officer. He says police were called at 10:00 PM. to investigate a shooting at the Blue Goose Club. He says he arrived at 10:10 PAA. and found Warren Oates' body face down in the storeroom of the Blue Goose Club. He testifies that Oates had been shot twice in the chest and that a .22 caliber revolver was found behind cans of floor cleaner in the storeroom, bet. Jones says he searched both the storeroom and Oates' body and found nothing else. But, Jones says he marked the revolver and turned it over
Dr. Know Toxicologist and Coroner Prosecution Witness
Dr. Know says he has been employed by the state for 10 years. He has a BS. Degree from Auburn Pharmacy School and a graduate degree from Alabama State Toxicologist School where he took courses on weapons and causes of death. Dr. Know says he was called upon to perform an autopsy on Warren Oates. Dr. Know states that he found the cause of death to be two .22 caliber gunshot wounds in the chest. He says that powder burns on Oates' clothing indicated he was shot at a range of about four feet. Dr. Know says he made tests of the weapons that Det. Jones turned over to him and determined that it was the weapon that killed Warren Oates.
James Tucker Manager, Blue Goose Club Prosecution Witness
The .22 caliber revolver belonged to Tucker, who says he did not know how Fatal got the gun, but it would not have been very difficult. He says he kept the gun under the cash register, which was at the end of the bar. Tucker says that Fatal and Oates got into an argument over a football game they were watching on television and they began to get pushy and loud. He adds that he told them that if they were going to continue arguing, they must go into the back room or get out. About 10 minutes later, at approximately 9:50 PM. Tucker heard two shots, after which Fatal walked out of the storeroom, said nothing and ran out the front door. Tucker says he then went to the storeroom, found Oates body, and immediately called the police. Tucker says Oates and Fatal were frequent customers in his club.
Jessica Oates Widow of Warren Oates Prosecution Witness
The last time I saw my wonderful husband was before he went to the Blue Goose Club to watch the football game with that jerk Billy Fatal. He killed my husband over a $20 bet!! Those Fatal boys are always getting into trouble!!! Jessica also testifies that as far as she knew her husband did not carry a knife. She also states that he was a loving husband and a gentle man who did not have violent tendencies. She never understood what Warren saw in Billy to let him be his friend.
Jim Taylor Witness at the Blue Goose Club Prosecution Witness
Taylor testifies that he had been watching the football game with the victim and the accused when the argument started. He says he saw them go into the storeroom and saw Fatal come out about five minutes later, stand near the cash register, and then go bock into the storage room. He states he then heard the shots and saw Fatal run out of the back room and out the front door.
Officer Don St. James Arresting Officer Prosecution Witness
St. James testifies that the police found Fatal at home. When asked if Billy was home, his wife began to cry and said yes. Fatal was pacing back and forth in the living room. He did not resist arrest. He was read his rights and was told he was under arrest for the murder of Warren Oates. At the jail he was fingerprinted and imprisoned until the arraignment. He did not post bond, so he will stay in jail during the trial