2008 IU LAW SCHOOL TRIAL TOURNAMENT RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS

Last updated: 1/16/08

1. The home page for the tournament is http://law.indiana.edu/webinit/tanford/Tournament/. Announcements, pairings, schedules, etc. will be posted there.

2. The tournament is open to all 2-L and 3-L students.

3. You may register as individuals and be assigned a partner, or you may register as a 2-person team. The deadline for registration is noon, January 17, 2008, but you are encouraged to register earlier. To register, send an email to tanford@indiana.edu, and await a response confirming your registration.

4. Each student will be assigned to represent either the plaintiff or the defense and will be assigned one direct and one cross-examination, and one witness role, which will remain constant throughout the tournament. Each competitor must prepare both an opening and a closing argument, and will be assigned to do one in the first round and the other in the second round, and may be assigned to do either one in the subsequent rounds.

5. The tournament will take place afternoons, evenings and weekends during January and February. There will be three qualifying rounds, and then a seeded single-elimination playoff. Times for each round shall be set by the tournament coordinator. If you have potential conflicts because of religious observances or other matters, you must inform Prof. Tanford at the time you register.

6. The competition fact pattern can be downloaded from http://www.justice.org/Networking/Tier3/LawStudents.aspx

7. The Federal Rules of Evidence apply. You may cite the text of the rule in support or opposition to an objection, but may not cite any case law. You are expected to make appropriate evidence objections -- they are part of the scoring process. In addition, you will be expected to make objections if your opponent is violating the basic rules of proper trial procedure.

8. No pretrial evidence motions are allowed.

9. The trial will consist of:
a. Opening statement of plaintiff
b. Opening statement of defendant
c. Direct examination of plaintiff, cross-examination by defense, and redirect (optional)
d. Direct examination of plaintiff's expert, cross-examination by defense, and redirect (optional)
e. Direct examination of defendant, cross-examination by plaintiff, and redirect (optional)
f. Direct examination of defendant's expert, cross-examination by plaintiff, and redirect (optional)
g. Closing argument by plaintiff
h. Closing argument by defendant
i. Rebuttal argument by plaintiff (optional)

10. Each student shall have a maximum of 40 minutes to conduct their argument, direct examination and cross-examination. The judge may cut you off if you are running long.

11. Each student will participate in three trials in the qualifying round. Your combined score will determine who goes on to the quarterfinals. The 16 top-scoring individuals will advance to the quarter-finals. Advancement is individual, not by teams, so you may find yourself paired with a different partner as the rounds progress.

13. Performance assignment for the qualifying rounds shall be as follows (when the pairings are posted):
a. The first-listed plaintiff shall do the direct of Ward, the cross of Smith, and play the role of Bark. S/he will do opening statement in round one, and closing argument in round two.
b. The second-listed plaintiff shall do the direct of Eton, the cross of Bark, and play the role of Smith. S/he will do closing argument in round one and opening statement in round two.
c. The first listed defendant shall do the direct of Bark, cross of Eton, and play the role of Smith. S/he will do opening statement in round one, and closing argument in round two.
d. The second-listed defendant shall do the direct of Smith, cross of Ward, and play the role of Bark. S/he will do closing argument in round one and opening statement in round two.
e. Only the person with responsibility for conducting direct or cross examination may object or respond to an objection concerning that witness.
f. Only the person doing the opening statement may object or respond to an objection during opening; and only the person doing the closing argument may object or respond to an objection during closings.

14. After the first two rounds, students must be prepared to do either an opening statement or a closing argument, although your witness assignments will not change.

15. You are expected to know your witness role thoroughly. As a witness, you may take your notes and deposition summaries with you to the witness stand, but may not use a script prepared by the attorney.

16. You should prepare your witness in advance but may not provide the witness with a script. In preparing for the direct examination, you and your witness may testify to matters from their deposition or statement, exhibits, and any reports they prepared. Witnesses also should be familiar with other parts of the case file that relate to them. Given the brevity of the information, you will have to elaborate and make up greater details, explanations and illustrations about the facts, and make up witness background and family information. You may not change any facts or make up new facts that change the balance of the case.

17. All depositions and transcripts are authentic and accurate. This does NOT mean that any particular passages in them are admissible. The usual substantive rules of evidence (e.g., hearsay) apply.