|What is a Mock Trial?|
|Mock Trial is a made up case to teach younger students about the law and courtroom procedure.|
|What is the difference between Defense, Plaintiff, and Prosecution?|
|There are two sides in all cases. In a criminal case, the side that is bringing the case to court is the prosecution, and the side that is being accused is the Defense. In a civil case, the side that is bringing the case to court is the Plaintiff and the side that is being accused is the Defense.|
|What is an objection?|
|An objection is when one lawyer feels that the testimony of the witness is either false or not relevant to the case. The judge can either rule with the objecting lawyer and say "objection sustained" or rule against the objecting lawyer and say "objection overruled."|
|People needed to perform a Mock Trial:|
|We have included a sample of a mock trial case:|
The Primate Problem
Brittany M. Bitten V. Jamies Jungle World
Teachers: Peter Moran and Connie Gilmore
Students: Sixth Grade Students- Frenchtown Elementary School
On July 3, 2000 Brittany Bitten, her mother, Mrs. Mary Bitten, and her older sister, Bonnie, were visiting the zoo, Jamies Jungle World. Brittany had just turned eight, and was very excited about seeing the petting zoo. Bonnie, 14, was anxious to visit the new Primate Exhibit. The zoo was very crowded that day, because it was a holiday weekend. The Bittens entered the zoo. Mrs. Bitten was unfamiliar with Jamies Jungle World, so she looked at the large map, to find the petting zoo. A short walk later, they entered the petting zoo. Mrs. Bitten bought animal treats for Brittany to feed to animals in the petting zoo area. Brittany anxiously swiped the treats from her mothers palm and pushed her way through the crowd. After Brittany finished feeding the goats behind the fence, she realized that she was almost out of animal treats. Brittany ran over to her mom and asked her to buy more treats. Mrs. Bitten called, Bonnie, her older daughter over and told her that she was in charge of Brittany while she went to buy more animal treats. While Mrs. Bitten was gone, Bonnie took Brittanys hand, and walked her over to a bench nearby. Bonnie saw Randy Receiver, the captain of the football team. She ran over to him and started talking. Meanwhile, Brittany saw a group of people, hopped off of the bench, and followed the crowd. She wandered for a short while. Brittany had left the petting zoo area, and entered the Primate Exhibit. She remembered that she still had some treats in her hand. Brittany walked over to the monkey cage and crawled under the guard chain. She slipped her hand through the bars to feed the monkeys. Before she could move her hand, a monkey turned around and bit her. Brittany had to get twenty stitches on her hand from the monkey bite. Consequently, Mrs. Mary Bitten is suing Jamies Jungle World, for negligence, and the cost of Brittanys medical bills.
Facts: Zoos capacity 5,000; Zoos attendance July 3, 2000 was 8,000
Was Jamies Jungle World responsible for Brittany M. Bittens injuries?
Witnesses for the Plaintiff
Mrs. Mary Bitten, Brittany M. Bittens Mom
Zoey Zoologist, Expert on Zoo Safety
Witnesses for the Defense
Anna Animals, Safety Expert and Exhibit Designer for Jamies Jungle World
Ogarth Z. Sampson, Brittany M. Bittens Principal
Testimony of Mrs. Mary Bitten
I went to the zoo with my daughters on July 3, 2000. As we entered the zoo , we noticed that there werent any zoo information pamphlets, so we entered without one. We went to a large map, to see where the petting zoo was located. Since it was Brittanys first time at the zoo, we headed straight to the petting zoo area. I purchased seed treats for Brittany, so she could go feed the animals. She happily began to feed some of the goats. With only a couple of seed treats left, she asked me to buy her some more treats. I told my older daughter, Bonnie, to watch Brittany. Bonnie spotted a friend from school and went over to talk to him. She told Brittany to sit down on a bench. Bonnie was close enough to keep a watchful eye on her younger sister. However, a sizable group of students got in the way of Bonnies view of Brittany. As I was walking back, Bonnie ran up to me with a concerned look, exclaiming that when a heavy crowd came by she had lost sight of Brittany. Bonnie and I searched the petting zoo, but she was nowhere to be found. We became very worried. Minutes later, I spotted Brittany through the crowd in front of a cage in the Primate section. I shouted at Brittany through the crowd, but it was too late! She had already crawled under the guard chain that separated the people from the animal cage, and easily slipped her hand through the bars to feed the monkeys. To my alarm, the monkey turned around and bit my youngest child.
Testimony of Zoey Zoologist
I have been in the zoo profession for over eighteen years. Several weeks ago I visited Jamies Jungle World and discovered that the Primate Exhibit was extremely close to the petting zoo. I hold a doctoral degree in zoology from Honolulu University. My studies included zoo safety management, and I have never seen a Primate Exhibit situated so dangerously close to a Petting Zoo. I have given input on the design for many zoos. I always make sure that a Primate Exhibit, or any other kind of potentially dangerous animal, were as far away from the petting zoo as possible. I also found that the barrier chain in front of the monkey cage was too high off of the ground so it allowed small children to crawl under. I also looked at the zoos attendance records for July 3, 2000, and discovered that the population of Jamies Jungle World was over the maximum amount allowed by state law. This would increase the chances of a child getting lost or injured at the zoo. The zoos design is unsafe, and the amount of people allowed in the zoo that day was over the maximum capacity, which would make it incredibly easy for a child to get lost and receive an injury from the unsafe layout.
Testimony of Anna Animals
I am a safety engineer. I was responsible for the design and safety features of the new Primate Exhibit at Jamies Jungle World. I have worked on many Primate Exhibits in the past without mishap. I am one of the most well-known safety specialists in the country. To learn to become a zoo safety designer I attended the University of Zoology in Africa for six years. Whenever I am designing a new Primate exhibit, the first thing that I think about is safety. I have several "Dont feed the animals," signs in every exhibit. At Jamies Jungle World the bars on the monkeys cages are made of titanium steel. We have large signs, and smaller ones all over the jungle world, that expressly read, "Dont feed the animals." The state requires the bars on the monkeys cages to be at most three inches apart, but at our zoo we put the bars two inches a part. A person would have to have extremely small hands to fit them through the bars. In my opinion Jamies Jungle world is not in any way responsible for Brittany M. Bittens injuries.
Testimony of Ogarth Z. Sampson
I have been the principal of BK Elementary School for the last 10 years. Our records show that in kindergarten Brittany knocked a child off of a swing during recess, and he seriously injured his knee. This incident occurred for no apparent reason. In the first grade the class went to a museum. Brittany and a group of friends damaged a dinosaur exhibit by breaking some of the land props. BK Elementary had to pay for the destruction. Brittany lost recess for three weeks. In second grade during a school wide assembly, Brittany and a friend were called to go up to the stage. Instead of participating, Brittany pulled the costumes off of the performers. She ruined the show for everyone. After the assembly she spent the rest of the week in my office. I have been working here for ten years, and I have never seen behavior that was as inappropriate, at this age. Brittany and her friends seem to find trouble wherever they go.
The plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Jamies Jungle world was negligent in their duties of maintaining proper safety for a public facility.
1. Was the zoo too crowded?
2. Were the signs readable?
3. Was the zoos layout safe?
4. Did Brittany contribute to the accident?
1. Preponderance of evidence.
2. Burden of proof.
3. Credibility of witnesses.
Negligence is that conduct which falls below the standard which is established by law for the protection of others from unreasonable risk; it necessarily involves a foreseeable risk, a threatened danger of injury, and conduct which is unreasonable in proportion to the danger.