Mock Trial Witnesses: Creativity Required
The role of witness in Mock Trial requires a lot of creativity. Unlike being an attorney you don’t have to focus on the bureaucratic processes of a trial. Instead you focus on playing a believable character.
Being Mock Trial witness is like playing someone in a play. The difference between the two is that when you are in a play you are given lines and are told what the character should be portrayed. In Mock trial you make up our lines on the spot and you craft your character form your opinion of how they should act. There is a lot of freedom on what you are allowed to do with a character.
The only guidelines you need to follow are the facts that are given in the casebook, although you are allowed to make reasonable extrapolations, which are reasonable extensions of the facts to make a story. An example of this is if you are given the fact that you drove the car to your house, it is a reasonable extrapolation to say, you put the car keys in the ignition to start the car and you stopped at any red lights on the way to your house.
A witness has a lot of flexibility in what they can say. The job of a witness is to keep trying to get across you teams case theory even when the other side is questioning you. You can answer questions in a way that focusing on your interpretation of the sequence of events in the case.
Even though the three witnesses are only thirty-three percent of the final score, they can really help their team win. The greatest weapon that a witness has is making the other sides attorneys frustrated. When a question attorney becomes frustrated and flustered they are more likely to go over time and to look unprofessional.
Sometimes the questioning attorney becomes so frustrated, that they start to yell at the witness on stand. When this happens it is call either badgering the witness or that the attorney is argumentative. In this case the judges will verbally reprimand the attorney and, often, the attorney will lose points on their score.
Playing a witness is a lot of fun because you get to frustrate the other teams attorneys, while you still look calm and collected.