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  • #76
    Originally posted by DefenseMid View Post

    I'll bite:

    Sullivan and Anderson live in this community, go to this store regularly. They had never seen these 2 men before.

    These 2 men didn't buy anything, didn't have a cart, were talking loudly about lead right in front of the milk aisle right when Anderson happened to come in.

    Circumstantial evidence of motive - losing this big contract would be DEVASTATING for the Dairy Association.
    I don't want to distract too much from the Rivers recanting which I think is the bigger issue, but I'm going to point out that there is nothing in the Sullivan affidavit from which to infer that the men had or had not been there before, that the men did or did not buy anything, or that the men did or did not have carts. These were additional embellishments that Yale created to help sell the recanting that followed.

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    • #77
      I also don't see why it's necessary for Rivers to specifically say "I planted them" out loud. Is it not also a material invention contradicted by the plain language of the affidavit for him to have trouble answering basic questions like "Did you tell her to lie?" Answering "I don't know how to answer that question" strikes me as bad faith. Of course he knows how to answer that question. He's behaving as if his correct answer would be incriminating, when the correct answer obviously would not be incriminating. The affidavit says everything in it is true, but the witness is giving clear, intentional non-verbal signals that he disagrees with what's in the affidavit. That also cannot be remedied with an impeachment.

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      • #78
        Nur Rauch I think that point is vital. There was no need for Yale to go so far with their theory; they could have just had Rivers imply the lie and then make the argument on close that the people in the grocery store were planted. But they chose to go further, and that for me is where this goes from "creative case theory" to "rules violation."

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        • #79
          Originally posted by geneva View Post

          I don't want to distract too much from the Rivers recanting which I think is the bigger issue, but I'm going to point out that there is nothing in the Sullivan affidavit from which to infer that the men had or had not been there before, that the men did or did not buy anything, or that the men did or did not have carts. These were additional embellishments that Yale created to help sell the recanting that followed.
          I think is a separate debate about what counts as an “embellishment.” If the witness had seen the men at the store before, you’d expect the witness to say it in the affidavit. Since they didn’t, it is reasonably inferred from its lack of inclusion in the affidavit, that the witness had never seen the men there before.

          Let’s stick to the actual issue here, about whether or not the witness invented a fact during his direct or cross examination. I think the best indicator here was Bays’ hearsay objection during the impeachment. It was not a direct contradiction because, as she argued, the witness was agreeing with the affidavit in that he never would have told her to say exactly what she said in the post specifically, but disagreeing with the notion that he would have avoided telling her to tell a different lie, in general. It was fair game. It was not a recanting if the affidavit, and the judge overruled to let the jury weigh the impeachment’s effectiveness themselves. It was, all-around, just really good mock trial. It was not cheating. Different people can disagree as to whether something is a reasonable inference or not. Since that is the place people are honing on as the “material invention,” I thought I’d shed some light as to why one could believe that wasn’t cheating. It’s semantics. It’s a different understand of the same words. Too me, it’s extremely difficult to be creative in this way and pull it off. When you don’t, you run into real trouble. But Yale does. And they did so yesterday, very effectively.

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          • #80
            Fundamentally, it is unclear whether or not Yale committed a sanctionable offense. The line where Yale's Rivers is accused by folks of recanting the affidavit is: "Of course that's what I said, I didn't want to get sued." In and of itself, that doesn't necessarily constitute a recantation of the affidavit. It can be interpreted in a perfectly reasonable way, as a reference to the actual conversation that Rivers had with Jerri Anderson: Of course I told her to be careful and not to lie, I didn't want to get sued. That's exactly the way it's intended in the affidavit. Sure, that interpretation could contradict some of what Yale clearly wanted the jury to believe--that it was Rivers who sent the men to the store--but because the whole theory was heavily implied so as to not result in any improper inventions, it could also align with Yale's case theory just fine.

            Then there is the other interpretation of the line. "Of course that's what I said, I didn't want to get sued," as in, "Yeah, of course I totally went and lied in my affidavit when I what I actually told Anderson to do was defame the shit out of Empowermilk, I didn't want to get sued." Frankly, I think this interpretation aligns a bit better with what Yale argued in the round. But at the end of the day, even analyzing the tone and body language of Yale's Rivers doesn't tell us what he meant. The case can be made that Rivers was recanting his prior sworn statement, but such a case would have to rely on a subjective analysis of the manner in which Yale's Rivers delivered the line in question. That's a weak argument for sanctions.

            What I can't seem to wrap my head around is why this happened in the first place. In my view, Yale wins without this alleged recantation; in my view, the whole exchange leaves Rivers looking shady, Daniel Elliott looking great, and Rhodes acquiring some points on ballots. Yale also didn't need any kind of recantation to further their theory. From what I understand--by what's on this page--nothing like this happened with Rivers in their earlier matches. I would be willing to bet that this wasn't any sort of slimy move conjured up by Yale but rather a heat-of-the-moment mistake by the witness. Rhodes didn't get cheated, and even if they did, I have a hard time believing it was intentional. I mean, think about it: does a team that knows they walk a tightrope between what's allowed and what isn't--does that team do something they know will be clearly over that line? I doubt it. This was probably some kind of accident.

            I don't understand why people want Yale sanctioned. I hope this makes teams less inclined to be careful and not increasingly paranoid about sticking to the clear-cut, boring theories that AMTA writes into the case materials. Creative, clever, and fun content should be welcomed, not scorned. Stop waving the rules around and shouting about unfairness and go figure out how to be a little bit more like a student-run program that's made the final round 5 years in a row. That's what I hope my team does.

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            • #81
              That's the thing. Yale is smart. They know how the rules work. They KNOW that having a witness recant their affidavit as part of their theory is NOT ALLOWED.

              So, in my view, it's not reasonable to say Yale planned on having a witness recant their affidavit - instead it seems much more likely that the witness slipped up slightly in his wording on cross examination, in a way that gave the impression he was denying his affidavit. But as Bays explained in her objection, that wasn't the intention, and it wasn't what the witness was saying.
              Last edited by DefenseMid; April 8th, 2019, 05:01 PM.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by easel View Post
                I don't understand why people want Yale sanctioned. .
                I'm sorry, are you on crack?

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by DefenseMid View Post
                  That's the thing. Yale is smart. They know how the rules work. They KNOW that having a witness recant their affidavit as part of their theory is NOT ALLOWED.

                  So, in my view, it's not reasonable to say Yale planned on having a witness recant their affidavit - instead it seems much more likely that the witness slipped up slightly in his wording on cross examination, in a way that gave the impression he was denying his affidavit. But as Bays explained in her objection, that wasn't the intention, and it wasn't what the witness was saying.
                  Same question as BustDownMockiana about crack. Respectfully.

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                  • #84
                    I feel like people are focusing on the wrong lines of Rivers' affidavit. The line Rhodes impeached Rivers with was, straight from the affidavit, "I did not review Anderson’s social media post before Anderson posted it on October 30, 2017. If I had known what Anderson was going to say, I would’ve told Anderson not to do it." The attorney directly asked the witness if he would have told Anderson not to make the post if he had known, and his answer (after a long period of silence and reflection might I add) was no. That right there was denying something said in the affidavit, and even after the attorney read the lines back to the witness, his answer remained "no." That is the clearest case of denying a portion of the affidavit on the stand, not "I didn't want to get sued," or "Of course that's what I said." The fact that the witness straight up denied that point, even after being impeached, is what makes this a clear cut case of recanting the affidavit, because Rivers CLEARLY DID NOT know what Anderson was going to post before it was posted assuming what he said in his affidavit was 100% true.

                    Again, things to clarify. The case strategy as a whole was effective and not an invention of fact. Sullivan and Anderson were perfectly fine giving the answers they did on direct and cross. Rivers' direct was honestly fine on direct, nothing I saw seems to be a clear cut recanting of facts in their affidavit. It is perfectly ok to have a witness be sketchy on direct if that is what a team is going for. What isn't ok is that witness crossing the line on cross, eating up long portions of time with silence before giving answers that are either non-responsive or directly contradicting a portion of their affidavit. Again, the case strategy is fine, but their Rivers, and more specifically, their Rivers on cross, was not. Whether or not the scores for Rivers helped or hurt Yale does not matter at that point. What matters is that Yale presented a situation where impeachment, the ONLY remedy to a witness lying or making up facts, was no longer viable because the witness denied that their affidavit was truthful. People need to stop arguing whether or not Yale wins or loses on Rivers, or how they would have addressed the situation hours after having seen it instead of in the moment when your crossing a witness who says "no" to something that is clearly in their affidavit. I want to be clear, the Rhodes attorney specifically asked Rivers a question after reading him the answer from his affidavit, and the witness still said "no."

                    Were there ways of arguing this case theory? Yes, Rhodes could have said Anderson still had the mens rea to write that post even if it was Rivers who pushed her to do it, used stuff like her quotes from Sullivan or Peterson to prove her intentions. But regardless of how good Yale is, how good Rhodes is, whether or not the theory could be countered, the witness recanting the affidavit is in fact a serious violation, and as others have pointed out, is exactly what one team was SANCTIONED for doing with a Bailey Bell-Leon from last year. In fact, the situation is eerily similar, because Bailey kept asking "what do you want me to say?" just as Rivers kept saying "I'm trying to help you, I don't wanna be sued, etc..." So yes, sanctions, or at the very least, considering whether or not/how AMTA should address the specific witness from the final round, is worth discussing, and is not just salty teams trying to knock Yale down a peg.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by bdopl View Post

                      I think is a separate debate about what counts as an “embellishment.” If the witness had seen the men at the store before, you’d expect the witness to say it in the affidavit. Since they didn’t, it is reasonably inferred from its lack of inclusion in the affidavit, that the witness had never seen the men there before.
                      You're moving the goal posts on me here. Midlands615 asked what facts in the case pattern supported Yale's claim in opening. DefenseMid cited the Sullivan testimony. I pointed out that information was not in the case pattern.

                      I'm willing to give you the argument that not recognizing the men *might* logically flow from the affidavit. But, no logical observer would infer that these men did not have shopping carts and that they left without shopping. And even if we can agree that the combination of these embellishments wouldn't amount to sanctionable activity, it's clearly crafted to help further and promote the bigger invention: without the guys being shady in the grocery store, the conspiracy claim doesn't work.

                      I also think it's unreasonably myopic to hone in on a single line, and chalk it up to a witness mistake. It's not about a single line. The entire presentation on direct was clear. This was a calculated decision to convince the jury of something for which there is no textual support.

                      Just because Yale THINKS they know the rules and where the line is, doesn't mean they're right. That's why I think all this stuff about Yale being smart is irrelevant.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by DefenseMid View Post
                        That's the thing. Yale is smart. They know how the rules work. They KNOW that having a witness recant their affidavit as part of their theory is NOT ALLOWED.

                        So, in my view, it's not reasonable to say Yale planned on having a witness recant their affidavit - instead it seems much more likely that the witness slipped up slightly in his wording on cross examination, in a way that gave the impression he was denying his affidavit. But as Bays explained in her objection, that wasn't the intention, and it wasn't what the witness was saying.
                        Did you watch the cross examination? Besides the ample impeachments, the question was posed to Rivers twice; both times he gave clear answers that went directly against the information contained within his affidavit. After this occurred, Daniel Elliot moved on to the other points of his cross which turned into the witness repeatedly saying “I’m trying to help you!”

                        This was planned. It was rehearsed. So far, it has worked.

                        The ball is in AMTA’s court to protect the integrity of not only the NCT, but every season of competition going forward.

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                        • #87
                          I think both teams should hug it out.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Mocker999 View Post
                            Whether or not the scores for Rivers helped or hurt Yale does not matter at that point... People need to stop arguing whether or not Yale wins or loses on Rivers
                            This is incorrect. Under rule 8.9(6)(b), one of the factors that determines whether a material invention is actually egregious or constitutes an ethical violation is its significance to the case at hand -- and specifically, whether it was used to gain an unfair advantage at trial. So far, I've heard of no credible evidence that this contradiction in any way increased Yale's chances of winning the round. They didn't bring it up on direct, they didn't bring it up in closing, it was cleanly and blatantly impeached on cross and the judges were able to score him down because of it.
                            Last edited by Voir Dire; April 8th, 2019, 06:18 PM.

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Voir Dire View Post
                              This is incorrect. Under rule 8.9(6)(b), one of the factors that determines whether a material invention is actually egregious or constitutes an ethical violation is its significance to the case at hand -- and specifically, whether it was used to gain an unfair advantage at trial. So far, I've heard of no credible evidence that this contradiction in any way increased Yale's chances of winning the round. They didn't bring it up on direct, they didn't bring it up in closing, it was cleanly and blatantly impeached on cross and the judges were able to score him down because of it.
                              You are isolating the incident too much here. The material invention,whether successfully impeached or not, had a huge influence on Yale winning because it permeated to the rest of their presentation. Rhodes crosses (aside from Elliot) seemed flat because the witnesses they were crossing were basically inhabiting a different universe then the closed one everyone else practiced in. The Yale crosses were equally boosted by having a narrow case theory (based on this new universe they created) that allowed them to shine.
                              Last edited by Mocktrocity; April 8th, 2019, 06:29 PM.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by REO Speedwagon View Post
                                I think both teams should hug it out.
                                I'd tend to agree.

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