How to Enter Evidence and Impeach a Witness (Mock Trial)
Often, in mock trial competitions, having a solid knowledge on the methods of impeachment and entering evidence can only help you in the competition. Not only would you gain the jury's attention, but as well as points which are vital to the victory of your round!
These instructions were performed in Missouri Mock Trial cases. I thought it’d be a good asset for all mock trial witnesses and lawyers out there. Since this was used in Missouri Mock Trial cases, it might be slightly different from state to state. Happy mock trialing!
Entering Evidence1. Your honor, may I approach the witness?
2. Do you recognize this?
3. What is it?
4. How do you recognize it?
5. Is it a fair and accurate copy?
6. [Was this made in the regular course of business?]
7. [Are you the keeper of this document?]
8. Your honor, I’d like to enter Exhibit __ into evidence.
Impeachment1. Get the witness to repeat the wrong statement.
2. Get the deposition of the witness
3. Ask the permission to approach witness.
4. “You remember making a deposition?”
5. “And you were under oath?”
6. “This is your deposition, correct?”
7. “And this is your signature on the back?”
8. “Now read silently as I read aloud: [correct statement]”
9. “I read that correctly, didn’t I?”
**A word of advice: since these questions are worded generally, do not hesitate to change them in a more professional wording**
Now for you to effectively utilize these questions, intonation, tone, and performance is important. For example when impeaching a witness, your tone should be aggressive if not, at least strong. However, when entering evidence, it is most likely you would be in a direct examination. In direct examination, it is best to have a soothing tone and provide the witness with a comfortable environment. Therefore, you should also use such tone while entering evidence.
Also, for solid performance, it is also advised to practice and recite the questions along with this method, as many times possible. Such practices will enable the speaker with confidence and comfortable environment with the designated witness or partner. All mock trial coaches out there always stress the need for solidness and confidence within the performance of the trial. My coach, for example, specifically made me recite the questions by myself without my partner to answer them. However, I soon realized how an effective method repetition was.
Good luck again!