Some of the Most Difficult Things for Team Members to Master

  • Deciding which points are the most important to prove the elements of the case and to make sure that the evidence gets in.
  • Clearly stating what the plaintiff/prosecution or defense intends to prove in the opening statement and arguing effectively in the closing statement that the facts and evidence presented prove their case.
  • Introducing documentary or physical evidence in accordance with the Mock Trial Rules.
  • Following the formality of the court, e.g., standing up when the judge enters or when addressing the judge, calling the judge "Your Honor," etc.
  • Phrasing questions on direct examination that are not leading. (Carefully review the rules of evidence and watch for this type of questioning in practice sessions).
  • Refraining from asking so many questions on cross-examination that well-made points are lost. When a witness has been contradicted or otherwise discredited, student attorneys tend to ask additional questions, which often lessen the impact of points previously made. Pointless questions should be avoided, even if there is remaining time for cross-examination.
  • Thinking quickly on their feet when a witness gives an unexpected answer, an attorney asks unexpected questions or makes unexpected objections, or a judge throws questions at the attorney or witness.
  • Refraining from reading opening and closing statements.