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MTS vs. Kosack Post Mortem

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  • #16
    "The breach was in the reach" would have alienated me personally. It's not a breach of care by the plaintiff. They have no duty not to reach when they're an untrained person that, even if instructed properly, can't help but reflexively make movement under stress.

    Intervening cause doesn't require a breach of care by the plaintiff defendant. There's just no need to attack the plaintiff at all. It's more an argument of, "Unfortunately, because that movement occurred, it was something the defense could not anticipate or control against, so neither party is liable." By attacking nobody in particular, the defense has the potential to neutralize righteous indignation and come off as the most reasonable and trustworthy party in the room.
    Last edited by Nur Rauch; March 19th, 2019, 03:36 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
      "The breach was in the reach" would have alienated me personally. It's not a breach of care by the plaintiff. They have no duty not to reach when they're an untrained person that, even if instructed properly, can't help but reflexively make movement under stress.

      Intervening cause doesn't require a breach of care by the plaintiff defendant. There's just no need to attack the plaintiff at all. It's more an argument of, "Unfortunately, because that movement occurred, it was something the defense could not anticipate or control against, so neither party is liable." By attacking nobody in particular, the defense has the potential to neutralize righteous indignation and come off as the most reasonable and trustworthy party in the room.
      I depends on how the Defense frames it, especially if they call Ashley or someone to really drive home the ratings point. Ultimately, saying on one is at fault for the reach isn't really gonna cut it when it's all about who's negligence led to the attack, and I think it's fair to say that a reasonable person wouldn't have reached out towards an angry chimpanzee in the way Alex did. On top of that, you can play with time a little bit to make it seem more deliberate. Remy had enough time to stand up and turn around before any movement occurred, and AJ can testify that Elias was gradually getting more and more agitated before Alex suddenly reached towards him, making it seem more intentional by the fact that Alex looked happy beforehand. Of course, Gomes gives us an entirely different reason why Alex reached which is the most reasonable and probably the best defense of it for the Plaintiff, but even that reach is still an intentional movement that the Defense can use as a lapse in judgement on Alex's part. There are numerous ways to frame the reach, and I don't think any one justification is truly accurate (except for Gomes, that one seems the most plausible). But I think you certainly can make it seem intentional on Grace's part.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
        "The breach was in the reach" would have alienated me personally. It's not a breach of care by the plaintiff. They have no duty not to reach when they're an untrained person that, even if instructed properly, can't help but reflexively make movement under stress.

        Intervening cause doesn't require a breach of care by the plaintiff defendant. There's just no need to attack the plaintiff at all. It's more an argument of, "Unfortunately, because that movement occurred, it was something the defense could not anticipate or control against, so neither party is liable." By attacking nobody in particular, the defense has the potential to neutralize righteous indignation and come off as the most reasonable and trustworthy party in the room.
        Interesting angle --did you ever see teams effectively highlight the contradictions in Grace's testimony and everyone else's about whether she was given permission or whether she did? Did it sway you in thinking that the lies themselves prove the intentionality of the reach?

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        • #19
          My issue with the Reach is the Breach (other than the awful rhyming) is it makes it more likely that Elias was not properly trained for the performance environment.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by dcphlmock View Post

            Interesting angle --did you ever see teams effectively highlight the contradictions in Grace's testimony and everyone else's about whether she was given permission or whether she did? Did it sway you in thinking that the lies themselves prove the intentionality of the reach?
            Never was convinced she did in fact reach. I did not see teams make good use of Grace herself. The only evidence I saw of the reach typically came from defense-side witnesses, so it just didn't carry a lot of weight to me.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
              "The breach was in the reach" would have alienated me personally. It's not a breach of care by the plaintiff. They have no duty not to reach when they're an untrained person that, even if instructed properly, can't help but reflexively make movement under stress.

              Intervening cause doesn't require a breach of care by the plaintiff defendant. There's just no need to attack the plaintiff at all. It's more an argument of, "Unfortunately, because that movement occurred, it was something the defense could not anticipate or control against, so neither party is liable." By attacking nobody in particular, the defense has the potential to neutralize righteous indignation and come off as the most reasonable and trustworthy party in the room.
              This is a very good point that we or any of the plaintiff sides we faced really fleshed out. The reach couldn't have been negligent because a defensive reach was not an unreasonable action by Alex Grace. Alex was afraid for their life, of course they would try to defend themselves.

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              • #22
                I thought MTS v. Kosack was a fine case, but not really a good one. I thought a monkey on a late night show was a little bit too goofy of a premise to be arguing about the whole the year, especially when the person who died (or rather their estate/family) is not a party. I agree with the earlier comment that there was a lack of options in potential ways the case could be tried.

                My biggest gripe was that the degree of difficulty was too low. There weren't enough ways for good teams to show that they were better than average teams. By the time ORCS rolls around, almost everyone is polished. Teams need to be able to show a nuanced understanding of either the facts or the law (and preferably both). There was a lack of interesting objection arguments and case law. For example, I miss the competing case law from State v. Hendricks. I thought that was a really innovative and cool idea. The universe of facts was also very small, which meant that there wasn't as much to sift through or use in unexpected ways.

                The balance problems at ORCS looked bad, but I haven't written a case and I don't think I have much understanding of how to make a balanced case. So I can't criticize too much there.

                On the positive side, I think there were fun characters. The setting helped with that, so there are pros and cons with the "goofiness" of the case. I also liked that they used a counterclaim. That was new and interesting. I don't remember seeing that in AMTA before.

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                • #23
                  Overall, it was a fine case, but not a super fun one to run. I agree with the above poster that the fact pattern itself was a little too goofy.

                  C​​​​​​omparing to recent cases, Hendricks had a lot more variety in terms of viable theories to run, and teams were throwing around a lot more creative ideas that kept every round a mystery. Winter had its flaws, but it had more compelling legal arguments that helped do a little more work to separate the good teams from the great. Kosack was ultimately a little too fact-limited for me, and the legal arguments didn't give opportunities for much differentiation. I think one of its downfalls was how tightly limited the deposition witnesses were. They may as well have been affidavit witnesses - the case writers basically left no room to breathe with inventions for Grace/Kosack.

                  There were also a ton of red herrings in the case, Grace's drinking in particular, which I wish had been replaced with more viable fact disputes.

                  Others have pointed out how dependent P cases became on Hawkins, which is another element that contributed to the lack of variety. My own team went the whole year and never saw a P team without a Hawkins. I know the case changes attempted to open up the variability of P theories that would have allowed an expert-less case, but I think the opportunity for point-grabbing demonstratives and the ability to differentiate your witness lineup (to avoid running 3 characters) meant most people still stuck with Hawkins til the end. If we were starting this over, I think a straight laced investigator and/or a different kind of expert would've been a nice addition to the case. Too many of the witnesses fit the same mold - overheard something bad the defendant said, overheard something bad Grace said, with a chimp sighting in between.
                  My biggest pet peeve was watching teams that did not understand the causation part of the burden. Just pointing out a bunch of technical failures by MTS didn't matter at all, unless you could put forth an argument for how that specific failure was a breach resulting in the attack. In many cases, there was just no logical argument even attempted for how a rule breaking led to Elias charging Chris.

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                  • #24
                    The only P team I saw all year without a Hawkins was OSU B at Regionals and it worked out pretty well for them, but ya, Hawkins seemed like a must call this year.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Gronksmash View Post
                      The only P team I saw all year without a Hawkins was OSU B at Regionals and it worked out pretty well for them, but ya, Hawkins seemed like a must call this year.
                      This was one of the more fascinating aspects of this year's case. I traveled to 11 tournaments this season with our various teams and watched every round live or via film. I also judged roughly 10 rounds and scouted a few others. Every single round I saw had a Hawkins, and that matches the stats from the memo too. I get why - Hawkins was an easy witness to use to rack up points and had a relatively high difficulty on cross - but I wonder if that's something to try and avoid in future years. Although clearly it didn't help the Plaintiff enough at ORCS given the heavy D side bias.

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                      • #26
                        Definitely better than Winter or Park, but overall my preference is heavily for Criminal cases.

                        I think the case packet (especially in the fall) funneled Defenses too much toward the same theory of the Reach, which took some of the fun out of it.

                        Plaintiff was much easier from a case arrangement perspective, because most judges had a built in idea that the trainer is always responsible for an attack,

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