FALL 2009 NATIONAL TRIAL TEAM INTRAMURAL COMPETITION

 ¶5  revised 7-20-09

   1. Students who are seeking a place on the TRIAL TEAM for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11 should read this memorandum carefully. To be eligible for the TRIAL TEAM you must be planning to graduate in May, 2011.

     2. If you decide to compete for the TRIAL TEAM, in addition to this memo, please study carefully the material in the 2008-09 Regional Problem (State of Lone Star v. Micah Victor). If you would like a hard copy, you should email such a request to Prof. Egnal or one of the team members. (There may be copies of the problem outside his office, Room 217.)
 
     3. The first round of the competition will be held from Thursday, September 3 to Friday, September 11, 2009. You must sign up for two argument times at a meeting to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 (the location of the sign-up meeting will be posted, as will an alternative sign-up procedure if you cannot attend the meeting).

     4. You are required, in the first round, to prepare and to present:  (a) to the trial judge, a 10-minute oral argument in support of and in opposition to a motion to exclude evidence (see ¶5, below), and (b) to the jury, a 10-minute opening statement (start of the State of Lonestar v. Micah Victor trial). For the evidence issue, you are NOT required to write a brief; however, you are expected to be familiar with the applicable Federal Rules of Evidence and relevant case law.

     5. You will be required to argue the following evidence issue from both the plaintiff’s side and the defendant’s side. This evidence issue involves a prior criminal conviction of the defendant’s witness, Denny Shepard. Ms. Shepard was convicted of illegally selling Diazapam (a drug often used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians, and as a downer by drug users). The conviction was 7 years ago and carried a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.  Ms. Shepard received 18 months of probation; the administrative proceeding to revoke her license was dismissed, due to procedural errors.

      The prosecution intends to offer this conviction for the purpose of attacking the character for truthfulness of Ms. Shepard, pursuant to Rule 609(a)(1) [not (a)(2)]. The defense has filed a pretrial motion (in limine) seeking to exclude this conviction.

      6. You must be prepared to represent both the prosecution and the defendant. For the first round, you will choose one time for each side at the meeting on Wed. 9-2-09.

     7. (a) For the evidence issue (see ¶ 5, above), you will have to do research, but will NOT have to submit a written brief; at the argument, you may refer to Federal Rules, Advisory Committee Notes, and relevant cases.
         (b) For the opening statement, a number of useful texts are on reserve, including Mauet, Fundamentals of Trial Techniques. 

     8. In the initial stages of legal analysis, you may consult with any other WNEC student or library staff member regarding research techniques, applicable authorities, and the substantive issues raised by the Record. You may not speak with any member of the Competition Committee or any current or former member of our moot court teams about any substantive issue raised in the Record.

     9. In the first round, you will have two sessions.  In each session, you will give a legal argument (see ¶ 5, above), which must not be longer than 10 minutes, and an opening statement, which must not be longer than 10 minutes.  Students who advance past the first round will then participate in two full trials (once as co-counsel for the prosecution and once as co-counsel for the defendant). These trials are tentatively scheduled for the weekends of 9-25-09 to 9-27-09 and 10-2-09 to 10-4-09.

     10. Each member of the TRIAL TEAM receives three academic credits for satisfactory completion of the required work in the senior year. The TRIAL TEAM is not, however, “a qualifying writing course,” but it does satisfy the “skills requirement.” Additionally, members of the TRIAL TEAM may earn two credits if they choose to participate in a tutorial study during their 2L year.

     11. If you have any questions regarding the problem or about the Trial Competition, please contact Professor John Egnal in Room 217, or call him at 413-782-1440 (office), 203-671-1602 (cell).  Please feel free to email the team members at any time.

Professor Egnal: jegnal@law.wne.edu
Coach John Stuart: thetrialer@aol.com
George O’Donnell: odonge01@yahoo.com
Marina Rabinovich:  marina.rabinovich@gmail.com
Tara Scullen: tarascullen@gmail.com
Alex Sohn: johnyratchet@yahoo.com

** Please keep in mind that these dates and guidelines are subject to change.