A judge admits evidence (testimony or exhibits) if it complies with the applicable Rules of Evidence. Your case packet includes a set of Rules of Evidence that will apply in your competition. Evidence that complies with the Rules of Evidence is called admissible evidence.
An attorney’s introduction to the court. The attorney identifies themselves and tells the court (judge) who they represent.
At the start of a mock trial, team members playing attorneys state their appearances (i.e., introduce themselves to the judge). Witnesses and other team members do not state appearances; they introduce themselves to the judge.
- “May the prosecution witnesses introduce themselves to the Court?” means, "Your Honor, may the witnesses introduce themselves to you?"
- Pretrial attorneys might refer to other judges, for example the justices of the Supreme Court when they say “In Terry v. Ohio, the Court decided…” Here, “Court” refers to the justices of the Supreme Court who decided the case Terry v. Ohio.
Elements of crime
"Evidence" can also refer to the group of evidence (i.e., testimony and exhibits) that the judge considers in determining the verdict. When deciding on the verdict in a case, the judge considers only testimony and exhibits that have been admitted into evidence.
Direct examination is the examination of a witness by the attorney offering the witness’s testimony as evidence. In mock trial, direct examination means examination of a witness by an attorney on the witness’s own team.
Cross examination is the examination of a witness by opposing counsel.
- Example: The court hears arguments on the prosecution’s motion to exclude evidence.
- When you ask the judge, “Your Honor, May I be heard?”, you are asking the judge to listen to and consider an argument you want to make.
<id="motion">Motion (n): a request to the judge.
- For example, “Your Honor, the prosecution makes a motion to exclude evidence.”
Move (v): to make a request to the judge.
- For example, you might say, “Your Honor, I move to strike the hearsay testimony.” You would NOT say, “I motion to strike.”
Offer of Proof
- For example, you might make an offer of proof to explain the relevance of certain testimony.
Opening the door
- A judge rules on an objection. This means that the judge decides whether the objection is valid (sustains the objection) or not (overrules the objection).