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  • Originally posted by Voir Dire View Post

    Furthermore, even if you did somehow interpret the question as asking if he caused Anderson to believe Almond Power had lead, the question "did you do X?" with the answer "all I did was Y" certainly doesn't assert that Y is a form of X. If the question is "did you see a Great Dane?" and the answer is "all I saw was this dog running by", the witness isn't claiming that the dog was a Great Dane. It doesn't rule it out, the lawyers might argue about what it suggests, but the witness isn't contradicting his affidavit or inventing any facts.
    "Mr. Smith, all day long we've heard the victim got beat up by someone. I have to ask, did you hurt the victim?"

    "All I did was defend myself."

    I think this is a better analogy for what happened than your dog analogy. Everyone in the room understands what the witness is saying.



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    • Originally posted by geneva View Post

      "Mr. Smith, all day long we've heard the victim got beat up by someone. I have to ask, did you hurt the victim?"

      "All I did was defend myself."

      I think this is a better analogy for what happened than your dog analogy. Everyone in the room understands what the witness is saying.


      Yup. I think "I don't know how to answer that" is itself a factual invention. Yes, the witness does know how to answer the question. The answer to the question is: "You're correct, Mr. Lawyer. I did not ask anyone to lie."

      I also don't think it's fair to limit this to the actual text of the answer. The non-verbal cues sent by the witness should also matter, just as they do when you analyze hearsay statements for their asserted truth of the matter. Twisting a baseball cap to the side can be a hearsay statement if the audience of the baseball camp twisting understands that it means "Leave the bank, the cops are around the corner."

      On direct, when asked "Did you plant those men in the store," his answer was "Look, she wrote those words." And he said it in a way to make himself look as guilty as possible. I don't know the affidavit, but unless the affidavit specifically says he planted the men there, I think it's a factual invention to deliberately act evasively when answering that question. His answer should be a sincere "No, I didn't." Refusing to answer the question and intentionally acting guilty is contradicted by the plain meaning of the affidavit, and there's no reasonable support for the contention that the plain meaning in the affidavit is wrong. It's a non-verbal invention, and you really can't impeach non-verbal inventions. When impeached, and asked if the witness in fact wrote that in their affidavit, they can respond, evasively, "Yes, I.... *wrote* that...." as if to imply that they wrote it but don't believe it. And that's what happened in this trial. "Of course I *wrote* those words, BECAUSE..." By his conduct, he was signaling, very intentionally, to the jury, that he wrote the text in the affidavit but that he didn't actually stand by the text in the affidavit, and that's cheating.

      Now, I don't know what specific precedent exists in AMTA sanction history to hold that non-verbal conduct can constitute a factual invention, but there has to be a line somewhere. Imagine a witness gets up on the stand and sarcastically answers every question, as if to suggest that every single answer they are giving is false. It's basically a way to unfairly disavow your entire affidavit without ever actually coming out and saying that you're disavowing it. That can't be proper, and the rule itself does not appear to be limited to verbal or linguistic corners of a witness's testimony. But maybe I'm wrong and it's unfortunately necessary to amend the rule yet again and add in a clarification that non-verbal behavior can also constitute a factual invention if there is sufficient demonstration that the witness answered the questions unfaithfully. It's one thing to wiggle on cross and explain, once impeached, that the attorney has simply misunderstood the language in the affidavit. It's quite another to imply with facial cues, body language or tone of voice that the words you have in your affidavit aren't accurate.
      Last edited by Nur Rauch; April 9th, 2019, 04:18 PM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by geneva View Post

        "Mr. Smith, all day long we've heard the victim got beat up by someone. I have to ask, did you hurt the victim?"

        "All I did was defend myself."

        I think this is a better analogy for what happened than your dog analogy. Everyone in the room understands what the witness is saying.
        Even if this witness' affidavit explicitly says "I did not hurt the victim," I don't see how an answer of "All I did was defend myself" is an egregious invention or a recantation (or, for that matter, a contradiction of the affidavit). If I were crossing this witness, the obvious follow-up question would be to ask, "In your own words, you would say 'I did not hurt the victim,' isn't that true?" (Note here that my follow-up question contains a word for word reading of the relevant affidavit line.)

        If the witness were to answer "no" to this follow-up, then that would be a recantation. If I failed to correctly quote the affidavit (as the Rhodes CX attorney did), then there is an argument to be made that the witness did not recant. Though, I'm not sure how Yale plans to make that argument, because Rhodes' CX attorney did get close to what the Rivers affidavit says.

        I'm jumping into this discussion late, so my overall two cents are this: Yale was the better team. Rhodes handled the hostile witness beautifully. The hostile witness took Yale from a double-digit win in my book to a narrow single-digit win. I have no idea why Yale chose to make it harder on themselves (both during the trial and in this aftermath), but I'm intrigued to see what happens.

        Comment


        • "New case theory next year: stand up on opening statement for the defense and say "I did it. Case closed." You will be hailed as the cleverest person in Midlands!" [comment made by a student, not by me]

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          • And! Why stop there. Not only does the attorney admit THEY kidnapped and murdered the child so the defendant walks free. The crosses of the Prosecution witnesses will be AMAZING:

            "Mr. Witness, you don't know that my co-counsel DIDN'T do it, do you???"

            Imagine the direct examination of the defendant:

            "Ms. Defendant, you saw me there didn't you?"
            "What do you want me to say?!"
            Attorney: "True or False, Ms. Defendant. You know I did it, don't you!"
            Defendant: [cries]
            Attorney: "Answer the question, Defendant. You didn't do it, did you?"
            Defendant "of course I didn't do it!"

            Cross of the defendant

            "Ms. Defe-"
            "OK I ADMIT IT! I, I DID SEE SOMETHING"
            "Ms. Defendant, I didn't ask you a question yet."
            "WHY ARE YOU STANDING THERE? I'M TRYING TO HELP YOU! THE BAD GUY IS IN THE ROOM! DIDN'T YOU HEAR MY ATTORNEY"
            "Ms. Defendant, didn't you say in your affidavit that you never saw anything there"
            "WHAT DO YOU THINK I WOULD SAY WITH MY ATTORNEY IN THE ROOM"

            /scene.
            Last edited by bluedress; April 9th, 2019, 06:06 PM.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by bluedress View Post
              And! Why stop there. Not only does the attorney admit THEY kidnapped and murdered the child so the defendant walks free. The crosses of the Prosecution witnesses will be AMAZING:

              "Mr. Witness, you don't know that my co-counsel DIDN'T do it, do you???"
              But that alone doesn't create reasonable doubt. The defense can point fingers at whomever they want, but they're not winning anything unless they amass enough evidence to have a counter-narrative to the plaintiff/prosecution. I still don't think Yale needed to call their own hostile Rivers (and based on this thread it sounds like they didn't do so in one of their rounds) to have put forth what I found to be a compelling narrative, that the dairy farmers were at risk of losing millions of dollars and their spokesperson wasn't doing enough, so in their desperation they ran some sort of false flag operation.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Voir Dire View Post

                At the risk of getting too bogged down in specifics, I don't think that's clear at all. The actual question was "So sir, we've all heard what Ms. Anderson posted, I have to ask, sir, did you do something to make that happen?" It seemed pretty obvious to me at the time that "make that happen" was referring to "what Ms. Anderson posted." And the fact that Rivers encouraged Anderson to make posts helping him win the contract is stated clearly in his affidavit.
                Your interpretation is only plausible if you ignore the immediately preceding question and answer:

                Q: And sir, what was Ms. Anderson’s stance on posting something negative?
                A: She wouldn’t do it …...
                Q: Sir.
                A: … ... Unless she believed it was true.
                Q: So sir, we’ve all heard what Ms. Anderson posted, I have to ask, sir – did you do something to make that happen?
                Q: Sir?
                A: All we did was we gave her a push – we had to. We had to.



                Comment


                • Originally posted by FBKR View Post

                  But that alone doesn't create reasonable doubt. The defense can point fingers at whomever they want, but they're not winning anything unless they amass enough evidence to have a counter-narrative to the plaintiff/prosecution. I still don't think Yale needed to call their own hostile Rivers (and based on this thread it sounds like they didn't do so in one of their rounds) to have put forth what I found to be a compelling narrative, that the dairy farmers were at risk of losing millions of dollars and their spokesperson wasn't doing enough, so in their desperation they ran some sort of false flag operation.
                  I think bluedress’s point is that the issue isn’t the effectiveness of strategy or the extent to which their strategy relied on invention, but the fact that their successful use of material invention at all means anything goes going forward. It’s a bad lesson for other teams on purely ethical grounds. It teaches teams that they don’t have to work with the case facts; they can just do whatever they want and get rewarded for it. That’s not what this activity should be about.

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                  • I refuse to say anything on this thread except that the complete lack of even basic logic presented in some.of these arguments makes me scared that these people might be lawyers/future lawyers.
                    "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson

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                    • bluedress since you’re here, can you share whether Rhodes has filed a complaint with AMTA?

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                      • http://www.collegemocktrial.org/reso...hip-tournament

                        AMTA just released this statement, which certainly seems to imply that a formal complaint has been lodged. Hopefully we get an official statement spelling things out at the end of the process. I think, s this discussion shows, there is still a lot of debate within the community about what does and does not count as an improper invention. It's probably the toughest rule to define, but hopefully we can get some clarity on it.

                        Comment


                        • I think at this point, title vacation seems unlikely. If they were going to make that decision it would have had to have been pretty immediate after the round. And it looks like we may be waiting a while for their official decision regarding the rule breaking.

                          My prediction is that they will follow the precedent and suspend the students who engaged in the egregious invention, but considering most of Yale's team are seniors anyway (including Bays) I fail to see it as much of a punishment. I personally think suspending the program is too far, there are competitors on Yale's B and C Teams who likely had no influence what so ever in Yale's National Strategy, and punishing them for the actions of others is unfair, I expect AMTA to see the same way in that regard.

                          They'll also probably make it very clear in their memo the seriousness of an egregious invention and recanting the affidavit, along with better defining it for us all. This whole controversy has certainly brought a huge spotlight onto the issue, so I think any team's that do try this type of strategy in the future will be more likely to be reported as a result.

                          The big changes will probably come in the summer when AMTA does their board meeting. I expect there to be a lot of proposals in regards to fact invention and impeachment. What will ultimately come of that is impossible to predict, though something clearly has to be done to prevent future incidents from occurring beyond basic deterrence from sanctions.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by RedRupee1 View Post
                            I think at this point, title vacation seems unlikely. If they were going to make that decision it would have had to have been pretty immediate after the round. And it looks like we may be waiting a while for their official decision regarding the rule breaking.
                            Alright, I should ignore this thread but then I saw this. This is some wild, unfounded speculating. You realize that the CRC is made of real people with real lives? Hell, most of them are barely at home again today and they have paying jobs and families they have to get back to. Plus, there is this whole concept of due process for both teams and due diligence for the board that must be followed.

                            Yes, we'll be waiting a while. Because, as it turns out, the world doesn't revolve around you and satisfying the mob's need for.onstant gratification isn't the top objective here.
                            "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by JayZ View Post

                              Alright, I should ignore this thread but then I saw this. This is some wild, unfounded speculating. You realize that the CRC is made of real people with real lives? Hell, most of them are barely at home again today and they have paying jobs and families they have to get back to. Plus, there is this whole concept of due process for both teams and due diligence for the board that must be followed.

                              Yes, we'll be waiting a while. Because, as it turns out, the world doesn't revolve around you and satisfying the mob's need for.onstant gratification isn't the top objective here.
                              Of course I'm speculating. I wouldn't put much weight to my speculation, as vacating a title is completely unprecedented and we have no idea what the process for determining that would even entail. But the purpose of the thread is to discuss this issue and see people's opinions is it not?

                              The reason I don't think they'll vacate is that I just find it hard to see AMTA asking Yale for the trophy back weeks after the final round when they do make their decision. I think the time to do that if at all is when both teams are still in the courtroom (which obviously has it's own issues and it's clear as day why they didn't take that approach.) As of now Yale is listed as the champion for 2019 in AMTA's records on the website, and I predict it'll stay that way (of course I could be completely off base, AMTA may want to make a serious example out of Yale, and title vacation is by far the most serious measure they could take)

                              And taking time to make a decision is not meant as a criticism for the CRC, I wouldn't want anything but a detailed investigation into what constituted an egregious invention and the appropriate punishment for it, I'm just stating the reality of the situation.

                              Comment


                              • As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I want to largely keep away from specifics since we're the only other team to face this defense in its fully realized form. But I will say that I had a conversation before round four with some folks who shall remain nameless but are people who know the rules well. That conversation leads me to think vacating a title is not an option in this circumstance, as that's not really the type of relief the rule is meant to provide. I think it's more likely (based on no inside information, just my own speculation) that any sanction, if one occurs, would be on the program moving forward. Again, not saying there should or shouldn't be one, but I think vacating a title is extremely unlikely.

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