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Nats Case First Impression

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  • Nats Case First Impression

    Nats Case is already up, and it looks interesting. Initial impression is that it feels like there are a number of avenues the defense can choose, and that there isn't a clear cut theory to go with like US v Barrow. That being said, the Plaintiff have a lot on their plate to prove, from damages to intentional malice and more. I'm surprised by the number of swing witnesses considering there weren't any the last 3 years. Most feel pretty Defense-biased if I'm being honest, except for Rivers. That being said, the case looks solid with plenty of room for complex legal arguments (Expert Testimony and Hearsay are gonna be tough to argue in this one). Initial Impressions?

  • #2
    It seems like a ton of fun and I'm low key sad I won't get the chance to run it! Beyond the interesting legal territory (something about defamation makes for good mock trial cases), I also enjoy some of the intangibles of this case. I think it's funny in a way some cases have tried to be and failed, I love the juxtaposition between the banal and the absurd and a lot of the inside baseball stuff that does some fun AMTA board self depreciation. I think the forensic accountants will be a good challenge for team's expert witnesses to present interestingly and credibly. I was also interested in the attempts to put more guardrails on reasonable inference in some of the affidavits (I also am of the opinion this solution is a lot better than creating new improper invention language but that might just be me). I'll be curious to see the diversity of theories that teams run.


    • #3
      Maybe I'm missing something but what reason could there be for including the curriculum vitae of the plaintiff expert as an exhibit? Seems pretty unnecessary and I can't really see any way it fits into a cross of that expert


      • #4
        I've never been a big fan of non-bifurcated trials. Having to prove damages in addition to proving intent (with the higher burden associated with defamation suits) just seems like too much for the Plaintiff to prove with 25 minutes of direct and 3 witnesses only. It's the same reason I didn't like the 3 different charges Prosecution had to prove in State v. Bowman, it really skews things in favor of the defense who can just sit back and easily poke holes while the Plaintiff has a massive burden to overcome.

        That being said I don't think this case will be as Defense sided as Barrow. Constraining the Defendant to an affidavit, unlike Parker Barrow will make the biggest difference in regards to case balance (interrogations really make things tough on the Prosecution, as also evident with Hendricks large defense bias)

        I like how open this case is to alternate defense theories, and if variability in trials is something you value, this will probably be your favorite Nationals case since Heisman due to all the swings and case possibilities. (I'm really curious to see if any teams try to run a truth is the ultimate defense theory...)

        If you value interesting fact patterns (like myself) this will probably be your least favorite Nationals case ever. Personally I think it's just a less interesting version of Walton v. BNN from 10 years ago. I understand the differences (defamation from a media company vs defamation from a social media "influencer") but defaming by claiming there's lead in almond milk is not nearly as compelling as the media accusing a Politician of Murder (and this is coming from someone who doesn't like Walton v. BNN all that much.) I think Kosack is clearly the better case personally, but I'm glad we're getting a second case at all tbh.

        The thing I'm MOST interested about though has nothing to do with the case itself, but rather the changing call order between Rounds 1-2 and 3-4. If this is well received at Nationals, I wouldn't mind seeing a similar system tried out in future year long cases. It could give more flexibility to Defense Teams, who are used to having to prepare a backup every round they call a swing. Now Plaintiff/Prosecution Teams would also have to have a backup for a Round. I'm glad AMTA is experimenting with minor changes like this, (it's much better than the stupid gimmick of Barrow only getting called in half the rounds last year.)


        • #5
          I'm not a fan of this case. I like how each side has multiple options to pursue, case-theory wise, and I think the legal stuff will be great for closings, but man the witnesses are lackluster. So many of them are corporate in some way, which is boring, there's not much variety. There's no sympathy witness, which I am annoyed by. None of them, aside from Sullivan maybe, have like a distinct story to tell. A lot of the witness affadavits are boring and uninspired - there's no room for exciting directs like there have been in the past.