The Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution
National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question below to show the answer.
- 1. I have been unable to locate the rules. Where I can find them?
The competition rules are available on the "Case Files" page or read the rules here.
- 2. In terms of technology, should we bring our own laptops? Will we have access to an ELMO? What connection formats do your screens support, i.e. VGA, USB, HDMI, wireless etc. Can you give us information about the projectors in the courtroom so we can make sure we have the right cables, drivers, and file formats? Will they be in color and have sound?
Competitors must bring and use their own laptops. All courtrooms are equipped with ELMO. All courtrooms have color projectors with audio and with VGA connections; some may also be equipped with HDMI connections. As for wireless access and file types, both are dependent on what your laptop will support. There is wireless internet access at JMLS, but not at the federal building where most of the trials will be held. Assume that all laptops will need to be connected to projectors with a cable. If you wish to control your own presentation wirelessly, you must bring your own equipment.
- 3. I can’t find the news articles or conviction stipulation. Where are they?
We experienced a computer glitch and these files were temporarily not visible. The site was fixed on March 11, 2013, and the files were reposted to the "Case Files" page. You can also access the files below.
- 4. Page 18, Answer to People's Motion for Discovery states that "the defendant may assert the affirmative defense of alibi..." Is this an affirmative or true defense and will a jury instruction be given? What is defined as State Supported Property? What is considered 'injuring' a police animal? Is spray painting the horse considered an 'injury' for purposes of this trial? Page 11, Detective Keane's report refers to reasons the case is closed including "the recovery of incriminating evidence from the Malloy residence." No evidence was seized from Malloy's residence, is this purposeful typo? Is there a date and timestamp for the video recovered from the horse stables?
We have considered each of these questions and have concluded that the answers could be found in the Rules or in the problem itself, or we concluded that the question presents a point of advocacy to be argued.
- 5. Evidence Photo: The sales receipt's time stamp is May 17, 2002. Is that a purposeful typo or possibly a malfunctioning machine or better yet an old receipt?
Mea Culpa, our apologies. We corrected this inadvertent mistake and re-posted the sales receipt on the "Case Files" page. Please destroy all old copies, and do not use them during the competition.
- 6. The Sales Receipt, the "Red Apple" pack of cigarettes, and the red plastic cap are depicted in photographs, but are tangible pieces of evidence. Will real items be used at the competition or are the photographs going to take the place of the real items? Will a stipulation be provided as to who took those photographs, or is it up for argument?
For purposes of this competition, the judges will be instructed that the photos of the items represent the real items. It will be left to the competitors to lay the appropriate foundation for the admission of each item.
- 7. Are you going to mail out hard copies of the case file with the pages consecutively numbered, or are the online files the exclusive access?
No materials will be sent out; all materials have been posted online.
- 8. Will the State's list of witnesses and the State's answer to discovery be included? On Page 18 of the case file, these documents are mentioned, but we do not have them.
The State’s Answer is not included in this case file; however, the prosecution witnesses are Detective Pat Keane and Alex Malloy.
- 9. Is Jordan Carlson going to give an independent sworn or attested statement?
- 10. In “Rules Regarding What Corey Peterson and the Defendant Must Admit,” can you clarify what is meant by “exactly as memorialized?” Does that mean direct quotes or everything that is written in Detective Keane’s report, including paraphrased statements?
While Carlson may not have adopted the police report, for purposes of this competition, if asked, Carlson must admit to making any statements or paraphrased statements contained in the police report.
- 11. Regarding what Corey Peterson and the Defendant must admit: Does this rule apply to statements that are not directly quoted? For example, at the top of Page 9, the report reads "Carlson admitted being angered about the arrest..."
Yes, this rule applies to statements directly quoted and not directly quoted.
- 12. Must parties admit to what the report says they did? For example, does the Defendant have to admit hiding under the mattress? The report says that the detective asked about it and this rule would require Carlson to admit the answer, but does Carlson he have to admit that he/she was responding to that specific question?
While Carlson must admit to what is contained in the report (in this example, if asked, Carlson must admit that when asked he/she said he/she hid under the mattress because….); however, Carlson does not have to admit he/she did what the report says he/she did (in this case, Carlson does not have to admit to actually hiding under the mattress).
- 13. Must they admit that the quotes in the report are their entire statement, and that they didn't tell the Detective anything else?
- 14. Can we recall a witness as long as we stay within our timeframe?
No, neither team may call a rebuttal witness.
- 15. Although the FREs wouldn't normally allow Corey and the Defendant to be formally impeached by the Detective's report, is this rule intended to allow it?
Yes, this rule is intended to allow for impeachment without requiring a witness to be recalled to perfect the impeachment. The rules state: "Witnesses are limited to testifying to facts contained in their prior testimonies and/or statements and reasonable inferences drawn from their testimonies or statements. Coaches and advocates should interpret 'reasonable inferences' as inferences necessary to make sense of the testimony, not inferences that stretch the facts and may be merely plausible. Student advocates are asked to act in a professional and ethical manner and should not purposefully testify to facts that are not contained in the case file. Each student witness must admit that he or she did say what is contained in that witness's prior testimony or statement, although the witness does not have to admit to saying what is attributed to him or her in the testimony or statement of another witness. Exceptions to this rule are contained in the paragraph below titled 'Rules Regarding What Corey Peterson and the Defendant Must Admit.' Finally, if a witness on cross examination is questioned about the fact that some portion of the witness's testimony at trial is not contained in the prior testimony or statement of the witness, the witness must admit that the fact is not contained in that witness's prior testimony or statement and must do so without any excuse, such as 'the transcript does not contain my entire statement' or 'nobody asked me that.'"
“No party may call a rebuttal witness. The following rules apply: (1) If asked, Corey Peterson must admit to making a statement to Investigator McAuley on December 14, 2012. Corey Peterson must admit to reviewing this statement for accuracy, to signing and adopting the statement and to making the statements exactly as memorialized in Investigator McAuley’s report. (2) If asked, Corey Peterson must admit to making statements to Detective Keane and must admit to making the statements exactly as memorialized in Detective Keane’s report. (3) If asked, the defendant must admit making statements to Detective Keane and must admit to making the statements exactly as memorialized in Detective Keane’s report.”
The purpose of this competition is to create a robust, mock but realistic criminal trial, while maintaining an appropriate balance in a problem that can be tried in three hours. We ask all coaches to instruct competitors to abide by the letter and spirit of these rules and to act ethically, fairly, and professionally in all situations.