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Opening Times have been increased beyond 5 minutes.

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  • Opening Times have been increased beyond 5 minutes.

    AMTA has been announcing updates from the board meeting on their twitter page, and it has been announced that motion RULES-07 has been amended and passed, uncapping Opening times from the standard 5 minutes. https://twitter.com/AMTAMockTrial/st...57265613377537

    While the Minutes will give us a more thorough explanation of this new rule implementation, it sounds like Openings and Closings will be treated like Directs and Crosses, with both statements taking time out of a collective pool of 14 minutes, allowing you to have a longer opening at the expense of time in closing. (or theoretically, a longer closing in exchange for a shorter opening)

    I'm personally in favor of this, it'll certainly help relieve the stress of having to fit a ton of info in Opening in under 5 minutes, and more flexibility in how we present our cases is always appreciated.

  • #2
    For a super polished team, it will just allow flexibility which is always good. For a less polished team itíll really help openers. Itíll put a little more stress on closers but oh well. The only negative I see is if you have an inexperienced opener, they could go on forever and leave like a 4 minute closing. But I think the pros outweigh the cons

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    • #3
      Dear Invitational Hosts,

      Please announce this rule change at opening ceremonies. Otherwise novice teams who don’t know about the board meeting are going to interrupt openers at 5:15.

      Sincerely,

      Everyone

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      • #4
        Does anyone remember when the last time AMTA made such a substantive change to the trial procedure? I can't recall anything in the over a decade or so that I have been around...

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        • #5
          Careful everybody. Do NOT put your team's maverick in the opening role anymore or he'll sap 10 minutes from the 14-minute pool.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gronksmash View Post
            Does anyone remember when the last time AMTA made such a substantive change to the trial procedure? I can't recall anything in the over a decade or so that I have been around...
            Yes... in 16-17 when the board passed the "Winter v TBD" rule that allows case authors to modify direct time based on witness call. I'd argue this rule is far less substantive than the Winter v TBD rule, because the overall amount of available time for open + close is unchanged. You just have the flexibility to allocate it differently between opening and closing if you so choose. (And the 5 min cap on P rebuttal remains in place.)
            I post in my personal capacity, not on behalf of AMTA.

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            • #7
              As someone who has both opened and closed, I am a big fan of this rule

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MizzouMock View Post
                (And the 5 min cap on P rebuttal remains in place.)
                Why do we have the 5 min cap on rebuttal?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gadfly View Post

                  Why do we have the 5 min cap on rebuttal?

                  Without a cap the prosecutor could give a 2 minute closing and save 10 minutes for rebuttal so that the defense cannot respond. It's a common strategy in real court.
                  My rants and ramblings are my own and should not be attached to others.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Plymouth Djinn View Post


                    Without a cap the prosecutor could give a 2 minute closing and save 10 minutes for rebuttal so that the defense cannot respond. It's a common strategy in real court.
                    I guess my question is this: why don't we allow that strategy? If it's a common one in real court, why is it not available in mock trial? I'm not saying I think it should be, I'm just interested in the rationale behind banning it.
                    Last edited by Gadfly; July 23rd, 2019, 12:27 AM.

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                    • #11
                      It's usually inadmissible in real court is why. A rebuttal is supposed to respond to the other party's closing argument, and that's it. Now, different judges and jurisdictions will interpret "respond" at varying levels of looseness, but you get the idea -- this would get abused right quick, especially in a competition where you can't object to closings. We could make no rule about rebuttal time limits and allow objections, but I think nearly everyone would be much less happy with that route.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
                        It's usually inadmissible in real court is why. A rebuttal is supposed to respond to the other party's closing argument, and that's it. Now, different judges and jurisdictions will interpret "respond" at varying levels of looseness, but you get the idea -- this would get abused right quick, especially in a competition where you can't object to closings. We could make no rule about rebuttal time limits and allow objections, but I think nearly everyone would be much less happy with that route.

                        I concur with Nur Rauch. Without the ability to object during closings, mock trial needs other ways to limit the prosecution from what can be an unfair practice.


                        [Posting in my personal capacity only. My statements should not be attached to AMTA.]
                        My rants and ramblings are my own and should not be attached to others.

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                        • #13
                          Just curious, has AMTA ever considered allowing Objections during closings in the past? I know TBC allowed them, and I'd assume most Law School Competitions allow them. I'm guessing there's concern over elongating the trials even further by allowing objection arguments in closing, but has this ever been discussed in a board meeting before?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RedRupee1 View Post
                            Just curious, has AMTA ever considered allowing Objections during closings in the past? I know TBC allowed them, and I'd assume most Law School Competitions allow them. I'm guessing there's concern over elongating the trials even further by allowing objection arguments in closing, but has this ever been discussed in a board meeting before?
                            Yes, this was Rules-03 at the 2017 meeting. It was referred back to committee and vanished.

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