Trial Advocacy Board
14th Annual Intramural Trial Advocacy Competition - Rules
Article I. Teams
- Each team must consist of four law students currently attending Regent University School of Law.
- An individual may not compete on multiple teams.
- Each team will compete in a minimum of two rounds. Each team must prepare and participate as the Prosecution and the Defense.
- Each team member must serve as a witness and an attorney. Team members must alternate roles for the first two rounds of the Competition.
- Teams may consist of any combination of 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls.
- In each round, each student attorney must 1) give an opening statement or closing argument, 2) conduct one direct examination, and 3) conduct one cross-examination.
Article II. The Problem
- The Problem will be posted on the Regent University Trial Advocacy Board website.
- The Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure will control unless stated in the problem or otherwise modified by the local rules.
- All materials included with the problem shall be deemed as originals and authentic. All documents that appear to have been sent to, or by a witness were sent or received by that witness.
- Either a projector for viewing, or blown-up image of all exhibits, will be provided in each courtroom. Notwithstanding this availability, counsel may enlarge or enhance any exhibit included in the problem, provided that the nature of the exhibit is not materially altered.
- No objections to, or additional, jury instructions will be received from the parties.
- The problem is intended for educational purposes and may not be used for any other purpose.
- No team member may attempt to procure the bench brief—this act may constitute elimination and possible honor code violations.
Article III. The Competition
- The Competition will consist of four rounds. Each team will compete in the first two rounds.
- The four teams with the highest winning percentage will advance to the semifinal round. In the event of a tie, the team with the highest total score will advance.
- The two semifinal teams with the highest total score in their respective brackets advance to the final round.
- During the final round, the highest total score will determine the winning team.
- The TAB has discretion over the number and position of judges and whether members of the TAB may judge.
- Board members will bailiff all rounds all rounds, aid judges and counsel, and serve as timekeepers.
Article IV. Conduct of the Trial.
- General: The student attorney conducting a direct examination may make objections to that witness’ cross-examination and the student attorney who cross-examines a witness may make objections to the direct examination of that witness.
- No team may waive its opening statements. Each side must call two witnesses. Time will be allotted as follows:
Preliminary Motions 4 min. per side
Opening Statement: 10 min. per side
Direct Examination: 12 minutes per witness
Cross-Examination: 10 minutes per witness
Closing Argument: 10 min. per side
Total: 2 hr. 16 min.
Each section of the trial will be timed individually. Judges may choose to limit or increase time for one section at their discretion.
- Only the team presenting the witness may reserve redirect for that witness; however, redirect is included in the time for direct-examination
- The clock will run through objections.
- At the appropriate time during the trial, either party may motion for judgment as a matter of law and may receive a response to the motion; however, the court will deny the motion in all instances.
- Objections may be made where appropriate. Excessive objections may result in the revocation of objection privileges for the trial. The presiding judge has the sole discretion in this determination.
- Each team must call two witnesses. A witness may be called only by his/her team and may not be recalled by either side. Neither side may call a witness of the other party.
- During the presentation of their cases, student attorneys and their witnesses may use only the facts contained in the problem. A witness may testify as to a reasonable inference drawn from the case materials on non-material facts, such as the witnesses’ background. However, participants are prohibited from enhancing their position by presenting testimony about material facts not contained in the case material. If a witness testifies to a fact not contained in the case material, the witness, if questioned on that subject, must admit that the fact was suggested by their counsel.
- Counsel may not object that a particular question calls for information outside the scope of the record. Counsel may present this objection to the bailiff after closing argument and the Board will have final say over whether the information was indeed outside the scope, and if so, whether it elicits a penalty.
- All trials will be conducted with the jury present. There will be no ruling by a judge that precludes the trial from being presented to conclusion.
- Members of the bench and bar will serve as judges, either as presiding judges or in the jury box. The Board has discretion over whether also to allow Board members to serve as judges in the jury box.
- Members of the community and Regent law students are encouraged to sit in the jury box with advance notification to the Intramural Coordinator.
- Teams will be scored on their legal abilities, as determined by the judge. In addition, teams will receive scores based on their ability to communicate effectively to the jury.
Article V. Miscellaneous Information
- Requests for information or rule interpretation should be sent in writing to: The Intramural Coordinator at TrialAdvocacy@regent.edu
- The Board, in its sole discretion, may interpret these rules, or create additional rules to address situations not presently addressed.
- The conduct of all competition participants will be governed by the standards set out in the ABA-Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
In addition to displaying the appropriate professional conduct, all teams are expected to adhere to Regent University’s rules of conduct. A copy of these rules may be found in the student handbook.
The penalty for any violation of any rules lies within the sole discretion of the Board and may result in disqualification, point deduction, or other penalty. Further, conduct in violation of the Regent University Honor Code may also elicit administrative action. Any questions or questionable activity on this subject should be directed to Nate Story.