Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

MTS vs. Kosack Post Mortem

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • MTS vs. Kosack Post Mortem

    General case thoughts, how does it compare to previous cases, interesting things your team did or you saw this season, thoughts on best strategies and portrayals you saw, favorite demos from the season, things you saw consistently not working, funny ideas you had but never ran, loose ends in the fact pattern you still don't quite know what to do with, and if you judged where did you see the biggest issues in team's executions?
    Last edited by Ali Thomas; March 18th, 2019, 09:20 AM.

  • #2
    I thought this was overall a pretty strong and successful case. Criminal cases are always more fun in my experience, but this one provided for a colorful fact pattern which gave us some fun witnesses. Definitely more exciting than Winter v. TBD, perhaps not quite as strong as Park v. Duran. I think AMTA did a nice job at balancing out the case with their changes, despite some end of year defense bias which is always hard to defeat.

    The one disappointment with this case is that it didn't end up producing a wide variety of theories. Part of this I think arises out of the duty thrusted on the defense by the countersuit, which prevented defense teams from using more of their time on poking holes in the plaintiff's theory. Poking holes gives more diversity because there's always many holes that could be poked, whereas when on the offensive a side always has a set grouping of elements to prove that pushes them into a more paint by numbers approach. While AMTA certainly provided some avenues for teams to run more out of the box cases (Chris being high, writers conversation of wings on set, the insurance policy, the cat), other more standard theories just dominated the landscape (Grace reaching, incomplete training, distance between trainer and animal, food smell). Gomes coming on set did provide an interesting path to a new case theory for teams at ORCS, though I didn't see a team run a case based on Gomes coming onto set. I'd be interested to hear if anyone saw a defense team focus their case around this, changing the core of a case theory for ORCS is a drastic move and one that I doubt many teams opted to go for.

    I was kind of disappointed to not see a plaintiff use proximate causation and their lowered lay-person duty to defend themselves with proximate cause. I always thought there was an interesting argument that minor violations of guidelines, that could have appeared to a lay-person to be more for convenience than safety, could not have been reasonably foreseen to cause the chimpanzee to enter a startle reaction and murder a writer.

    I didn't get to see too many absurd moments in trial this year, other than one Kosack accidentally implying that Elias and him had a sexual relationship. Would love to hear about any craziness that went on in some of the invitationals.

    Comment


    • #3
      We ran a Gomes did it theory. It worked in one round.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Random View Post
        We ran a Gomes did it theory. It worked in one round.
        Go on....


        I don't like how constrained the depos of the party witnesses became. The depos are supposed to be witnesses where you can be extra creative as the Invention of fact rule doesn't apply, but it seemed like you could barely make anything up this year. There were too many lines meant to curb creative theories. They might as well just have turned them back into the normal affidavits that are still under the invention rule.

        Comment


        • #5
          We argued that Gomes walking through the door set Elias off. We may have gone too far in claiming that the door was creaky, she was wearing loud heels, and wore a very pungent perfume all of which contributed to Elias attacking. The witness wore these things in round to lend credibility to the testimony. The witness was appropriately impeached in both rounds

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gronksmash View Post

            Go on....


            I don't like how constrained the depos of the party witnesses became. The depos are supposed to be witnesses where you can be extra creative as the Invention of fact rule doesn't apply, but it seemed like you could barely make anything up this year. There were too many lines meant to curb creative theories. They might as well just have turned them back into the normal affidavits that are still under the invention rule.
            AMTA seems rather selective about what they want teams to try and find excuses for. It felt like the only role depositions played was letting Alex explain away the bottle of wine (Which teams stopped using after the first month anyway) and Kosack's stitches. But the most important crossing points really didn't have anything to do with those factors. Depositions did allow witnesses to be creative about explaining conversations about the act, like what rules Danny laid out, but on the whole, there wasn't much room for creativity.

            Overall, I didn't enjoy MTS v Kosack all that much, but I can't help but respect what AMTA was trying to go for with the counterclaim four different swings. It was interesting to see how most Defense teams started the year by trying to show how many guideline MTS broke and use that to build a case, but as the year progressed, narrowed their focus to one or two, or threw them out entirely and focused on the ratings. One of the bigger issues I feel was the necessity for the Plaintiff to call Dr. Hawkins in virtually every trial. I don't even think McCoy was unbalanced in comparison, I just feel that the easiest way for Plaintiff to make their case was to call the one witness they have that can talk about probably Kosack's most negligent decision, failing to train Elias. I do wish more teams had focused on miscommunication and the lack of clarity on the guidelines, but that was probably too risky to build an entire case around because it means admitting that some were broken if argued poorly.

            The huge defense bias at the end of the year was pretty surprising, especially since, if we're being honest, none of the guidelines save for the cat and maybe the reach if you stretch the definition of "egging Elias on" could be proven to be broken, even if it was heavily implied that several of them were. I feel like the saving grace for the defense was the fact that most of the swings worked better with defense theories, which meant they could call a greater variety of interesting characters. The swings also overlapped a lot, with each having either a different quote from Kosack to use or a different guideline being sort of broken.

            If there is one positive about this case, it's that the case changes, particularly the midyear balances, were very effective at making each side even. Personally, the main reason I disliked it was because both sides were clearly negligent and honestly deserved to be sued by Harper or someone, Danny moreso. It meant that it was hard to defend a lot of the blatantly negligent things people did, like fail to ensure basic rules were followed or actually hold a safety meeting. But I can also see why people may enjoy the case because there is no clear cut answer, and the variety of character witnesses meant you could present a pretty interesting case. So while I don't love this case, I can still enjoy different aspects of it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Random View Post
              We argued that Gomes walking through the door set Elias off. We may have gone too far in claiming that the door was creaky, she was wearing loud heels, and wore a very pungent perfume all of which contributed to Elias attacking. The witness wore these things in round to lend credibility to the testimony. The witness was appropriately impeached in both rounds
              Haha, that's pretty hype. Why did it only work in the one round?

              Comment


              • #8
                On the whole I'd say Kosack was definitely one of AMTA's better cases. It's not quite on the Amazing Level of Park v. Duran, State v. Hendricks, Davis v. Happyland, or Jeffries v. PCPD, but it wasn't boring or not fun to argue like Winter v. TBD or State v. Dawson.

                The best parts in my opinion were the witnesses, both Grace and Kosack had clear personalities that could be portrayed, which is far better than the standard boring party rep who you make normal to be sympathetic. Grace could be sassy or pretentious and Kosack could be more eccentric than your average defendant. Even though someone died, it didn't feel out of place to have crazy characters (probably because there's no dead kid this time.)

                Aside from the party reps, Hawkins and McCoy were good experts who covered topics that could be engaging to a jury (far better than the cell tower shit last year.) I also appreciate not making McCoy a mandatory call to rebut Hawkins like Longfellow was, the two reports are a good compromise in that regard.

                Hunter Cooper may be favorite witness ever, mainly for the inside jokes amongst my team, but also because I've never seen a witness quite like him in an AMTA case before. He also was surprisingly viable on Defense, blaming MTS' security for letting a creepy stalker on set is convincing if you play up his creepiness on direct (and have a non-sequestered Kosack react to his testimony on the following direct)

                Really the only boring character witness was Jameson, who you couldn't make too eccentric due to his actions being vicariously liable to MTS. (I really like what they did to him for case changes though, made him super viable for his facts alone.)

                I think a lack of interesting case theories was the biggest downside to the case. Every defense team argued the reach in some capacity because there was nothing else that really came close to it in terms of strength. Every plaintiff team argued the training for the same reason. Alternate stuff like the cat, wings, Elias' traits, were never strong enough to stand on their own and almost always had to accompany either the reach or training when argued.

                As someone who also tends to prefer criminal cases, I really enjoyed arguing Kosack, I'll be pretty happy if next year's criminal case is on the same level quality wise.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We ran an assumption of risk defense for two January tournaments and fortunately got to try it out against several excellent teams. While we ended up scrapping it before regionals due to fairly mixed reviews from judges, it was a lot of fun to argue and added some interesting twists to an otherwise straightforward D case, like flipping some P facts to D facts (the Thornhill phone call, "not 100% confident", etc).

                  I would have loved more time with Gomes. We didn't see a single one or call them ourselves, but I think if we'd had the witness since the beginning of the year we could have seen some really interesting things from them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kmcf8 View Post
                    We ran an assumption of risk defense for two January tournaments and fortunately got to try it out against several excellent teams. While we ended up scrapping it before regionals due to fairly mixed reviews from judges, it was a lot of fun to argue and added some interesting twists to an otherwise straightforward D case, like flipping some P facts to D facts (the Thornhill phone call, "not 100% confident", etc).

                    I would have loved more time with Gomes. We didn't see a single one or call them ourselves, but I think if we'd had the witness since the beginning of the year we could have seen some really interesting things from them.
                    We called Gomes on P and D to mostly great results. We emphasized distance on P and the scratch marks. One team had a really interesting approach to the scratch mark emphasis and really harped on the fact that the stipulation read it was a bite wound not a scratch wound.

                    Originally posted by Ali Thomas View Post

                    Haha, that's pretty hype. Why did it only work in the one round?
                    The judges didnít buy it in the second round partially because of the impeachment. Gomes was the first defense witness called and I think it colored their perception of the next two witnesses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      kmcf8 It's interesting that you would try assumption of risk on defense, never really thought about that strategy. It's risky to say the least because most team really harped on the fact that Kosack, as the animal trainer, had a greater responsibility to ensure safety. Honestly, my one biggest regret would be not dropping Kosack as a must call and swapping over to McCoy. Our team was never really creative enough to find excuses for Kosack's decision to not have a meeting, not finish training, etc... so we often left our Kosack open to a lot of pretty devastating cross points. Did anyone have a good strategy for defending Kosack on some of that if they continued to call them?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We, and some of the teams we hit, split training up into safety training and trick training. Kosack never completed trick training, but that has no impact on the safety of the performance. We also said the Kennedy call counted as a meeting.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The case on release felt incredibly bare to me. It didn't feel like a full case to me until the December changes. Once we got there, though, the case had a lot more room for diversity of theory.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TabisRad View Post
                            We, and some of the teams we hit, split training up into safety training and trick training. Kosack never completed trick training, but that has no impact on the safety of the performance. We also said the Kennedy call counted as a meeting.
                            It seems like most teams ended up going with this theory as their defense when representing Kosack--the case didn't leave many other viable options, especially when Kosack admits that his/her training wasn't complete before the show. I know that I ran this theory ever since the Red Cedar Classic (in mid-October), and AMTA never really did anything to alter that as a legitimate defense, which was sort-of unfortunate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would have liked to see more defense teams arguing intervening cause with Alex Grace's "reaching" motion. Instead I saw most defense teams argue that Alex Grace knowingly disregarded safety instructions, so therefore the plaintiff is more at fault than the defense. That is not a persuasive argument to me. It's much more probable that Alex Grace involuntarily, reflexively reached out, if there was any reach at all. And that's neither party's fault, but it makes the defense not liable because it's not something Kosack can reasonably guard against. It's not the plaintiff's fault, but it's also an intervening cause that renders the defense not liable.

                              Would have appreciated more measured defenses that evenly, calmly described how this means they win their case, instead of screeching, angry defense teams that blame an untrained TV host for acting imperfectly during a very dangerous and stressful situation.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X