Take the mock out of mock trialsPresentation Transcript
California Council for the Social Studies March , 2012 Fran Chadwick, Ed.D. California State University San Marcos California On My Honor
State of Civic EducationAccording to former Justice Sandra Day O‟Connor , “Two-thirds of Americans know at least one of the judges on the Fox TV show „American Idol,‟ but less than 1 in 10 can name the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.”Survey: 1 out of 3 Americans polled could not identify the three branches of the government!
Psssssst: U.S. Supreme Court: Chief Justice John Roberts California Supreme Court: Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye Executive, Judicial, Legislative
Benefits of Mock Trials Make “law” come alive! Establish relevancy ~ connections to learner Call for active engagement in authentic ways Engage students in higher order thinking
Benefits: Effective for all grades Beneficial for special education Roles for all learning styles Lawyer, witness, judge, bailiff, juror, court clerk… Connect with court visits and “outreach” programs, TV or movie, judge or lawyer to classroom Can enhance language arts skills and understanding
And…. Mock Trials are Fun!“Today my legs were shaking but I feel confident. Tomorrow I will be so, so nervous!”
Where do I Begin? Provide a context for learning: Blending of language arts, theatre and law Provide instruction in each area What is my objective?
Elements of Theatre Character: The role played by an actor as he or she assumes another’s identity-physically, mentally and emotionally. Dialogue: The words spoken by the actors in a drama Music: The use of instruments or vocals
Theatre Elements: Plot: The “what happens” in a story Beginning – setting, characters and problem Middle – how the characters interact, problem builds to climax End - the problem is resolved Theme: The central thought or idea
Character DevelopmentActivities to establish character: Use of dialogue: Yes, Oh, Is that right? Use of movement: Visors Down, Movement to convey character: Emotions: Sad, Happy, Frightened, Physical identity: Age, Condition, etc. Study of character for mock trials: Use HOT skills to determine and establish motivation, attitude, mental, emotional and physical
Hmmm?Analysis of Plot•Study television programs•Analyze literature•Pose the following challenge and questions: What is the conflict? Describe multiple viewpoints… What is truth? Who is the protagonist? Antagonist?
Understanding the Basics of Courtroom Process Two types of cases: Civil and criminal Civil: “Lawsuit.” One person suing another, usually for money. Personal injury, breach of contract, malpractice. Also includes family law. No jail or punishment. Criminal: “Prosecution.” Brought by the state against a person. Involves fine and punishment. Misdemeanor: a year or less in jail. Felony: jail or state prison. One event can result in civil and criminal trials
Basic Terms Plaintiff: person who brings the case. “comPLAIN.” In criminal: PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CA Defendant – person defending the case. Litigation: lawsuit. The fight in court. Lawyer: counselor, attorney Judge: commissioner, referee Court trial: – judge makes decision. Jury trial: 12 jurors make decision
Steps in a Jury Trial
1. Selection of the Jury - Jurors called for the voir dire. - Jurors challenged, for cause and peremptory. - Challenged jurors return to the jury room and the selected jurors are sworn.2. The Trial - The Judge may deliver remarks to the Jury. The attorneys give their opening speeches. - Witnesses are called for direct and cross-examination and exhibits are presented. - When all of the evidence has been presented, the attorneys give summing up, or closing arguments.
3. The Judges Charge - The Judge instructs the jury as to what laws apply to the case and what those laws mean.4. Deliberation - The jury goes into a private room to discuss the case and reach a decision. They may talk to no one except the Judge if they have questions.5. The Verdict - The jury returns to the courtroom and the foreperson announces the decision. The attorneys may ask that the jury be polled.
Burden of proof Plaintiff has the burden of proving his case Defendant doesn’t have to say a thing If both sides evenly matched and you can’t tell who is entitled to win, defendant entitled to verdict Civil case: “preponderance of the evidence.” More likely than not. 9/12 jurors must agree Criminal case: “beyond a reasonable doubt.” “probably guilty” not enough. 12/12 jurors must agree If jurors can’t agree, “hung jury.” Mistrial.
Judge: Bailiff bring out the accused, Sarah Good. Bailiff brings out defendant in handcuffs. Judge: Sarah Good, thou art here accused that not having the fear of God before thine eyes thou hast had familiarity with Satan the grand enemy of God and man, and that by his instigation and help thou hast in a preternatural way afflicted and done harm to the bodies and his Majesty’s subjects, Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams, for which by the law of God and the Colony of Massachusetts thou deservest to die by hanging. Sarah Good, thou hast heard the complaints against you. Is it true that you are a witch?
Sarah: Certainly not, Your Honor. Judge: Have you seen the Devil, Sarah Good? Sarah: Never, Your Honor! Judge: If you are not a witch, how do you explain the contortions that young Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams go into in your presence?
Sarah: It must all be fake, Your Honor! Judge: Did you visit John Putnam’s farm two weeks ago? Sarah: I did, Your Honor. Judge: How do you explain the fact that a baby calf was born the day after your visit and that calf had a grossly deformed leg?
Sarah: I can’t explain it, Your Honor. I had nothing to do with it, I swear! Judge: Isn’t it true Sarah Good that you have a witches’ mark on your neck? Sarah: Your Honor, I have had a small mole on my neck my entire life. It is NOT a witches’ mark! Judge: Silence! I have heard enough. I find that you are guilty of witchcraft and sentence you to be hanged in the town square next Saturday. Bailiff, take her away! Created by Judge Joan Weber, California Superior Court of San Diego County
Character Analysis How would you describe your character? What kind of “ethics” does your character possess? Wise choices? Motivation? Considering the historical time period, how might your character react to circumstances? What is the physical appearance of your character? List personality traits, challenges, roles and accomplishments of your character.
Types of Mock TrialsReaders Theatre: (read from existing script) Beneficial for learning court processes, roles. Generally used for knowledge and comprehension levels, however, can be used to promote higher order thinking with meaningful follow-up activities.Skeletal Mock Trials: (students create dialogue from given case) Beneficial for analysis, synthesis and evaluation within the process of research about the rule of law, creating opening and closing arguments, deliberating over testimony. Check out the Five Freedoms Project: http://www.fivefreedoms.org/network/ybtj_apr10
Historical Mock Trials: Significant events, time in history, ie: Salem Witch Trials. Consider expanding the idea ~ opening and closing arguments on a political issue, ie: religious freedom, rights of women, Anne Hutchinson ~ put her on trialLanguage Arts Inspired: Analyze the plot, especially as it relates to the “conflict”, create a trial format, ie: The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf
Important Components: All mock trials should be accompanied with activities to support learning objectives; Learning activities must give students the opportunity to use critical thinking skills! Call your local bar association or local court ~ ask about outreach programs…lawyers and judges in the classroom, classroom tours, mock trials, Law Day Check out resources offered on the website of the Administrative Offices of the Courts: http://courts.ca.gov/programs-lawrelated.htm
“ The trouble…is that we have taken our democracy for granted; we have thought and acted as if our forefathers had founded it once and for all. We have forgotten that it has to be enacted anew in every generation.” John Dewey
Resources for Mock TrialsAdministrative Offices of the Courts of California: http://courts.ca.gov/programs-lawrelated.htmMini Mock Trial Manualhttp://www.civicallyspeaking.org/mock3.pdfNinth District Circuit Court, Illinois: Teacher Resources, Mock Trial Informationhttp://19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/services/pages/mock_t rials.aspx Constitutional Rights Foundationwww.crf-usa.org/mock-trial-program/