Important California Mock Trial Rules

The Constitutional Rights Foundation has compiled a guidebook that details all relevant rules and regulations for mock trial teams. We’ve excerpted some of the more important and useful rules for prosecutors and defendants.

  • Pg 9 (a) – Witness should be presented in a realistic manner. No costumes, theatrical make-up.
  • Pg 9 (c) – Communication allowed between trial attorneys.
  • Pg 10 – Automatic 5 point deduction for contact with witnesses, coach, parent, spectator.
  • Pg 10 (e) – “Attorneys may not solicit information from a witness that requires the witness to testify to information from another’s witness statement.”
  • Pg 10 (e) – A witness may testify only to facts stated/reasonably inferred from witness statement and fact statement (of which witness should reasonably know).
  • Pg. 10(f) – Witness statement viewed as signed statement taken by the police.
  • Pg11 – Point deduction for wrong attorney making the objection.
  • Pg 11 – Only mock trial objections allowed; no other motions- no objections during opening or closing or pretrial.
  • Pg 12 – Can’t create a material fact/ but may make reasonable inferences related to witness’ testimony not included in the record : “ reasonable inferences can be used to respond to the inevitable content gaps in the witness statements.”
    • Use this to argue against objection by the other side
    • The record includes witness statement; all stipulations and exhibits; any portion of the fact situation of which that witness reasonably would have knowledge
  • Pg 13 – Rules to foster good sportsmanship/ guided by common sense/ arguing for hyper technical violations to be avoided (argue if you don’t what to say to a rules violation)
  • Pg 14 (a) – Timed competition- “running of team’s time’ prohibited-may be 1 point deduction (use if they run on cross)

View the CRF Mock Trial Rule Book for the complete list of rules as they apply to California’s high school mock trial program.