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  • rules question

    Hey everyone!

    I am trying to figure out an ambiguity in the rules, and was hoping some of y'all could help. My team is having a disagreement on whether or not exhibits can be entered during pre-trial/before openings, because there is a possibility we may use one of the exhibits during opening statements. I have searched through the AMTA rulebook, rules of evidence, stipulations & special instructions and don't see anything that makes clear whether any of this is allowed. Thanks for any input!

  • #2
    There is nothing explicitly barring it in the AMTA rulebook, but many judges prefer to wait until the cases in chief before admitting evidence. You will get judges who are fine admitting in pre-trial, judges who don't want to admit it but are happy to have you use it in openings anyway as though it were a non-entered demo and so something you show to the jury without admitting into evidence (especially if its something like a photo of the decedent), and you will get judges who won't admit it until after openings and won't let you use something that is not entered. So you have to be ready for any of those outcomes if you want to try it.

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    • #3
      I'll chime in - I agree with Gadfly. This is one of those things where its entirely judge dependent. I've seen teams successfully enter exhibits during pre-trial simply by asking. If you were to go this route, I would recommend asking the opposing teams in captains meeting - so long as the exhibit you want to use isn't too controversial. The less controversial the better, I would say. If you move to enter something into evidence pre-trial, the judge will likely be more open to admitting the evidence if you can say "I brought this up piror to trial with our opposing counsel, and they were ok with it" or the like.

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      • #4
        I'd agree with both people in this thread, and I'd say for using an exhibit in openings also bring it up at captains so the other team can chime in that they're totally chill with it.

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