Monday, September 27, 2010

Mock Trial

My last post was on Thursday.

On Friday, I was busy; namely, I was learning everything I could from the PDF that had been sent out for the Tufts Mock Trial tryouts. It was a sampling for the previous year's case.

I had to prepare a cross examination of "Ari Finch", select a witness to portray (and be direct/cross examined), and give a speech defending/prosecuting a fictional character.

I concentrated on Finch's affidavit, double-dipping the witness as both the person I would cross examine and portray, so that I would only need to learn his/her character (for time).

Saturday afternoon, I went to tryouts. As I first got there, they took my picture and jotted down notes about my high school mock trial and drama experiences. I then began presenting my cross examination. I reached a question for which the witness did not give the expected result:

Me: "And isn't it true that you were unable to find any incriminating text messages on that phone?

"Well, actually, we did end up finding very suspicious messages between the two of them"

That's okay, I had thought this out already. I suspected that there might be more information than that which I was given; in his affidavit, the witness does say he found no messages on the phone, but mentions retrieving records from the phone company. As these were included in the exhibits, and not the affidavit, they were not part of the tryout packet; I had never seen them.

"But within the context of your affidavit, and not external evidence [turn to jury of Mock Trial veterans:] which I have not been provided, [return to witness:] you would say that, initially, upon searching the phone, no such messages were found?"

BAM! They stopped me there, and said it was time to move on to the next part. But they got it. I hadn't messed up the question; I had actually shown that I knew more about the case than they could have hoped. That felt good.

Playing the witness went fine. I answered the questions when prompted; I had explanations and excuses when crossed:

"And isn't it true that 3 million other people could have had that blood type as well, Detective?"

Me: "Not 3 million people who were supposed to be on that yacht that night, no."

"But 3 million other human beings have that blood type?"

Me: "Well, most of those 3 million other people are not missing. But yes"


Then came the speech. This was the first time I had given a speech without reading it. I simply had some notes, and I made up all the sentences on the spot. Not that I hadn't thought them out before; but I was just going with it.

It wasn't scary it all. It felt easy. I explained that I was defending Dorothy Gale for the theft of ruby slippers. After all, Glinda was the one who took them from the dead Witch of the East and gifted them to Ms. Gale. Then the Witch of the West appears, demanding them, but without legal documentation that they should belong to her! How is Ms. Gale to know that Glinda did not have the right to gift them in the first place? Etc.

They asked a question at the end. I responded. It was all good. They seemed to enjoy the story.

Then, surprise! An impromptu argument! Who would I vote for to the presidency: Oprah, Colbert, Stewart, or Nader? I chose Nader. Give the guy a break. Speech went fine.

Sunday night, the call came from a strange number. I let it hit voice-mail.  I hadn't even realized what it was. I made the team!

First meeting Tuesday. We've broken into 4 teams for the fall invitational season, with mixed varsity/non-varsity configurations. I'm on Team Orange. Woot!

10 new members, of all ages, were accepted this weekend. That constitutes roughly 29% of those who tried out.

Seeing as Josh Fisher also made his team, I'm wondering if we'll get to face-off in court. That would be amazing.

If there are no objections, I'm declaring this post closed.


  1. Well, I'm not going to object-
    but a big congratulations to you on making the mock trial team at Tufts :)


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