When determining whether a fact is “material” or not under the rule, teams should use common sense. Ask whether the creation of the fact significantly helps either side’s case. If the answer is “yes,” the fact is material.
If a team creates a material fact in the process of their case, that is best exposed and attacked through impeachment and closing arguments, and should be dealt with in the course of the trial. A team that deals with creation of material facts in this fashion will generally be considered by the scoring judges to be more sophisticated, accomplished, and experienced than a team that simply objects to “creation of material facts” without trying first to impeach. Nevertheless, to ensure the integrity of the mock trial competition and to provide a remedy for situations in which created material facts cannot easily be challenged through impeachment or closing argument, a special mock trial objection— “creation of material facts”—has been established.
A team who, in good faith, believes that its opponent has created a material fact may make such an objection to the presiding judge. The team making the objection must support it by explaining in detail (1) how the fact gives the opponent a significant legal advantage; and (2) why it cannot be regarded as a fair inference from the case materials. The team resisting the objection must be prepared to explain either (1) that the fact does not offer them a significant legal advantage; or (2) that the fact can be fairly inferred from the case materials.
After hearing from both sides, the presiding judge shall immediately rule in open court on the “creation of material fact” objection. If the presiding judge sustains the objection, the scoring judges individually must assess the team against whom the objection is sustained a penalty of at least three points, but no more than seven points. If the presiding judge overrules the objection, s/he must immediately declare whether or not, in his/her judgment, the objection was made in good faith. If the presiding judge determines that the objection was not made in good faith, the scoring judges individually must assess against the team that made the objection a penalty of at least three points and no more than seven points. The penalties described in this rule are to be assessed individually by each scoring judge, i.e., the scoring judges are not to confer and to settle on an identical penalty. 2.4 Gender of Witnesses
All witnesses are gender neutral. Personal pronoun changes in witness statements indicating gender of the characters may be made. Any student may portray the role of any witness of either gender.
2.5 Voir Dire
Voir Dire examination of a witness is not permitted. (Voir dire means to challenge the qualifications of an expert witness by addressing questions to the witness. Opposing counsel is allowed to object to admission of a witness as an expert.) 10
Rule 3.1 Team Eligibility
Students who comprise a team must be enrolled at the same high school. Schools may enter a maximum of two teams in the competition. However, only one team from any school will advance to the state championship from the regional competition. Schools that enter two separate teams in the competition may not combine the teams to advance to the state competition. Once official team rosters are submitted at the on-site registration at the regional competition, registering new teams or new team members may not be added at any time. A team may not for any reason substitute any other person for official team members.
Home schooled students may compete in the High School Mock Trial Competitions in the region in which they reside. The school must submit a letter of...