Useful Mock Trial Procedures and Rules

Scott Bair, Ohio State University

Time Considerations

Because the mock trial is a condensation of an actual trial and because the trial participants are role playing, it is necessary to put into place a few procedures and rules expressly designed for your mock trial. The length of time that you set aside for the trial is likely going to be the most critical. Providing sufficient but limited time for each person to participate is important because of all the work they have put into their effort. At Ohio State, I allot about 6 hours to commence and complete the mock trial, 45 minutes for the jury to deliberate and announce its verdict, and 30 minutes for a debriefing with the jury. Our total time including lunch and breaks takes about 8.5 hours. As a result, we begin at 8:00 in the morning. The general schedule and list of time targets that I give my students can be downloaded here (Microsoft Word PRIVATE FILE 58kB Sep10 08) and is shown at the right. Your schedule may need to vastly different.

Limited Rules of Civil Procedure

The federal Rules of Civil Procedure are presented at the following link. These rules are specific to the federal courts that try civil cases. There are standard forms included in this document for filing complaints, motions, change of venue, etc. that can be used by students in the trial process.

Testimony Limited to Specific Issues