Mock trials are an effective way of imparting knowledge about the legal system and developing critical thinking and communication skills among students of all age groups, particularly in elementary and secondary school. The person given the role of bailiff in a mock trial plays a key role as the person charged with keeping order in the court.
Things You'll Need
- Copy of the rules of the mock trial
- Stopwatch or analog clock for timekeeping
- Paper and pen
The Bailiff's Role
Introduce yourself to the judge before the trial begins. Exchange names so that way you can introduce him or her to the court.
Call the court to order by saying, "All rise," and telling participants the court is now in session and which judge is presiding.
After the judge has come in and is seated, tell the court to "please be seated."
When the judge asks you to call the calendar or docket for the day, announce what the day's case is, addressing the judge as "your honor."
Swear in witnesses by standing with your right hand raised, asking the witnesses to raise their right hands, and asking them if they promise that their testimony is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth according to the rules of the mock-trial court. When each witness has said "I do," instruct them to be seated and to state and spell their name for the court.
Keep track of the clerk's timekeeping, raising any concerns you may have about the time to the judge.
Tell the court, "All rise," after the closing statements are made and the judge leaves the court.
When the judge is ready to return to the court, tell the court, "All rise" and that court is back in session. Tell everyone to be seated after the judge has taken his or her seat.
Close the court's session by telling the court, "All rise," and announcing that the court is now adjourned.
Tips & Warnings
- Make sure to follow the basic rules of courtroom etiquette, such as rising when you address the judge, and addressing the judge as "your honor."
- Familiarize yourself with the procedures of a trial before the trial begins so that you won't get lost during the mock trial.
- You may also act as a back-up timekeeper in order to properly monitor the clerk. In such a case, announce that you will be serving as a back-up timekeeper when the introductions are being made when the court is first in session.
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