Published on February 19, 2014
MOCK TRIALS FOR STUDENTS
Presentation by Maj. Gen. Nilendra Kumar Director Amity Law School, Noida
What is a mock trial?
Mock Trial A mock trial is an act or imitation trial. It is a simulated exercise to train potential lawyers, judges or court officials.
Mock trials are a prominent mode of clinical legal education.
How does it? Differ from a Moot Moot Court is appellate advocacy whereas mock trial is practice of trial advocacy.
Object of a Mock Trial Practical training in trial court advocacy.
It imparts practical training in advocacy and court craft
Types of mock trial
Basic Forms 1. 2. 3. 4. Criminal Civil Tribunal Arbitration
Mock trial practice can be later expanded to cover Conciliation 2. Mediation 3. Taxation 1.
How to plan for a mock trial?
It could be held singly by a group of law students or as a competing event between two such teams.
Work out a plot or the problem
Keep the problem simple and capable of being presented within maximum two hours.
Illustration of Type of Plots Simple theft 2. Altercation and use of force 3. Eve teasing incident 4. Landlord tenant dispute 1.
5. Breach of contract 6. Cheque bouncing case 7. Use of unfair means in exams (inquiry)
Eligibility Preferably the teams should consist of members who have studied the law of evidence.
Frame rules for participation and Assessment.
Allocate time for Opening address b) Examination in Chief c) Cross-examination d) Re-examination e) Final address a)
Limit the total time to not more than 150 minutes to retain the attention of judges, participants and spectators.
Each team not to have six to seven participants.
Breakdown Advocate 2. Witnesses 3. Accused or party 4. Spare 1. 1 - 3 1 1
Maximum number of material or documentary exhibits to be limited.
Judges to be chosen from amongst those with experience in litigation at trial stage.
Assessment and Evaluation Criteria Opening statement Questions Submissions Clarity of language
Pronounciation Legal sustenance Brevity of question Poise and body language Court decorum and courtesy
Witnesses are not allowed to refer to any notes while giving their testimony.
Witness should be excluded from the court room while other evidence is being taken.
Arrange the presence of a commentator to give relevant comments or explanation as and when needed.
Students be trained how to produce a document or material exhibit.
How the documents are identified?
Oath/affirmation to be administered to a witness.
Advocates may give a brief outline of their case before commencement of witnesses evidence. This would be their version of the case.
At the end of the evidence, they may give a small submission.
Questions should be brief, simple and direct.
A question be asked with a definite purpose.
Prepare a check sheet to monitor If evidence has been led on all essential ingradients.
Type of Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Leading Successfully objected Irrelevant Inadmissible Repetition Exceed time limit
Suggestion Not more than three witnesses 2. Keep scope for one witness to turn hostile 3. Keep scope for innovation 1.
Restrict Rival versions not allowed to contradict or oppose the narrative. 2. Number of witnesses not to exceed what is permissible. 3. Time limit allowed to be adhered. 1.
Each team be allowed to innovate or assume facts as long as these do not contradict or violate given narratives.
Scope Introduce different types of witnesses Expert witness 2. Child testimony 3. Deaf and dumb witness 1.
5. Hostile witness 6. Expert 7. Formal witness
Objection State the ground for, based on Relevance Admissibility
Negative marks be awarded for irrelevant, leading or inadmissible questions. Also if a question is repeated.
Practice law relating to admissibility of confession.
Procedure for a witness to refresh his memory.
Do’s Give list of witnesses. 2. Allow time for reply to be recorded by the stenographer. 3. State ground for objection. 1.
1. 2. 3. Object before the reply is given. Ask formal and preliminary questions from a witness to know who he is and what is his occupation. Identify the accused.
While announcing results of the event, a detailed summing up by the faculty or the Chief Judge is desirable to highlight faults and mistakes noted.
CONCLUSION Going to trial with a lawyer who considers yours whole life style a crime in progress is not a happy prospect. Hunter S Thompson
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