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Rules for Trials

  1. You will be given a separate book of materials for the trials (“Book II”). They will contain, among other things, a “Court Administrator’s Synopsis Of Case/Plan” and a “Pre-Trial Order” which will provide binding procedural background and context, factual stipulations between the parties, and the exhibits the parties are to use. In addition:
    • The parties may only use the documentary exhibits contained in Book II, but may use demonstrative exhibits of their own creation provided they supply copies to opposing counsel and the Court.
    • Note that reference may be made to the Debtor’s Petition, Schedules, and Statements of Financial Affairs (Book I, pages 42 through 70). The Court will take judicial notice of them and they may be used as appropriate.
    • Parties are required to use all exhibits listed in the Pre-Trial Order.
  2. You must call every witness on your witness list, and use all exhibits on the Pre-Trial Order. You may not add other witnesses or call the other side’s witnesses.
    • FNBO will call: (1) P. Pompous; and (2) A. Brilliant.
    • The Debtor will call: (1) J. Optimistic; and (2) A. Greenspun.
  3. Deposition summaries can (and should) be used to impeach witnesses as part of cross examination, if necessary.
  4. The judge will act as judge, clerk and bailiff. The judge should not interrupt the trial to show counsel how a particular part should have been done. Critiques should be reserved until the trial is over.
  5. Except as otherwise stated or suggested by these rules, the trial will be conducted realistically. Each participant -- lawyer, judge, witness – will stay in the “role.” E.g., no objections on the ground that “it’s not in the script.” Any untoward development should be handled as if it were a surprise at trial rather than a mistake in playing a game.
  6. The judge may conduct a brief pretrial conference to hear and decide preliminary motions. Rulings should be realistic, but remember always that the purpose of the exercise is to give the lawyers the experience of trying a case. Hence, there should be no rulings of a sort substantially to impede the trial—e.g. no dismissals on the pleadings.
  7. The lawyers may divide witness examinations in any way they wish as long as there is a relative sharing of the presentations.
  8. The Federal Rules of Evidence will apply in all cases.
  9. Your witnesses may add reasonable background information about themselves. Any details your witnesses add to the case should be fair, reasonable and consistent with the case file.
  10. Each side will have approximately an hour and a half to present their case. The entire trial should not last more than about 3 hours. It is the responsibility of the judge to keep the trial moving.

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