Dress Code & Preparation:
Prepare to dress professionally. This means coat and tie for male
attorneys and professional skirt/blouse for female attorneys.
Witnesses should at least wear "Sunday/Go to Meetin'" clothes: shirt
and tie for boys, dress and or nice pants outfit for girls.
Nobody should be wearing athletic socks or tennis/skate shoes.
Everybody should have their hair done neatly and all of their clothing
tucked in. Yes, gentlemen, this means your pants need to be up to
your waist, which is located above your rear end.
It is perfectly acceptable to borrow clothing and maybe have to wear
things that don't quite fit right as long as they are the right kind of
clothes and you are wearing them respectfully.
Attorneys should be prepared with note cards and printouts.
Witnesses may not use any kind of notes, at all, ever.
1-2 paragraphs covering everything you are going to say in direct
tetstimony. You cannot discuss a topic in your direct testimony
if it is not in
your witness statement. Your statement needs to cover everything
to at least A and B Level Detail.
A Level Detail: I had 3 classes with the defendant in 10th grade.
B Level Detail: In those classes he frequently talked to Person A
unAmerican topics X., Y, and Z.
C Level Detail: Specific quotes and things that were said by the
defendant (this is the really juicy stuff you want to save for the
This is literally a question and answer script guiding the witness
through their direct examination. Questions should be formatted
so that the witness is providing the bulk of the information, not the
attorney. Each witness gets two minutes for direct
testimony. This is your only chance to testify, so you should use
as much of this time as possible. Practice your direct testimony
over and over, this is key to coming off as a credible witness.
This is your chance to destroy the opposition's case by tearing apart
their witnesses. Ask questions that challenge their credibility,
their version of the events, and so forth. You should have
prepared a list of questions ahead of time from their witness
statements. Add to that list as the trial goes on. You only
get 1 1/2 minutes, so go on the attack immediately.
Witnesses should prepare for cross examination by having someone on
their team ask them all kinds of difficult questions in anticipation of
what they will be asked on cross.
Opening and Closing Statements:
In your opening statement you want to try and lay the groundwork for
what you are trying to prove, as well as seize the upper hand in the
debate over what it means to be a good American. Your opening
should be all typed up and well reheased. You have two minutes,
you should try to use as much of it as possible.
Likewise, in your closing statement you want to reinforce the most
important parts of the trial in the juries minds, as well as fire your
parting shots in the debate over what it means to be a good
American. You should create an outline for your closing statement
ahead of time. You can modify your outline during the tirla as
you see fit. You will get a couple of minutes to huddle with your
team and finalize your closing statement before you deliver it.
You will have 1 1/2 minutes to make your closing statement.