A couple of weeks ago I was invited to serve as the presiding judge for an in-house mock trial, presented to lawyers and claims handlers for an insurance company. The trial roles of counsel and witnesses were covered by experienced trial counsel, and the purpose was not so much to train them as to give the audience a chance to watch, and discuss, the reality of a courtroom proceeding.
Like every other mock trial or summary jury trial I have ever been involved with, the “mock” nature seemed to quickly disappear and the adversarial, competitive elements of a “real” trial took over. Pretty soon it was clear that both sides wanted to win, and when the 8-person jury returned it’s verdict late in the afternoon, there were high-fives at one counsel table, and real dejection at the other. It was a lot of fun, and very educational.
If you have any interest in offering an in-house mock trial at your firm, either for a CLE or focus group purpose, I would be delighted to assist.