Los Angeles County Mock Trial General Information

 

Presentation in Zoom - This year’s online competition will be done via Zoom. If you can, download the Zoom app for best results. If you cannot download the app, you can still join using the link on a browser.

  • Zoom security measures:
    • The password and waiting room feature will be used. The link and password will be emailed prior to each trial. Please do not share link or password with anyone or post on social media or other platforms.
    • To be admitted to their assigned virtual courtrooms, team members and coaches must rename themselves using this protocol:
      • (Trial #) Team Code (P/D) First and Last Name (Role)
  • All active team members, team substitutes, artists/journalists, and coaches must have their video off and microphone muted when not presenting.
  • During the trial, the following individuals must turn on their video and unmute their microphone when:
    • pretrial attorney is presenting their pretrial argument and rebuttal.
    • trial attorney is presenting their opening statement and closing argument.
    • testifying witness, direct examining trial attorney, and cross-examining trial attorney during a witness examination.
    • clerk is providing time warnings.
    • bailiff is calling the court to order or swearing in witnesses.
  • All active team members and team substitutes must have the case, official exhibits, and team rulebook readily available but may only refer to them when allowed.
  • The pretrial attorney, trial attorney, and the bailiff may elect to stand or remain seated while making their presentations. 
  • The Zoom chat must not be used during the trial for communications by coaches and students, including the private chat feature, except for the following:
    • Communication between trial attorneys (and the defendant).
    • Communication between the clerk and unofficial timer for time checks.
    • During the 30 second rule only, between the team and coaches.

Zoom Tips

  • Scrimmage – It is highly encouraged to scrimmage prior to the actual competition. This will not only allow to practice with presenting the case but also practicing the virtual competition rules and procedures.
  • Internet – A wired connection is better than a wi-fi connection. If you can, plug your device directly into your router. If you are using a wi-fi connection, be as close to your router as possible.
  • Bandwidth – Be aware of household usage. Try to have exclusive use of the internet in your home, if possible, during the trials to ensure the best connection. Also, close any unnecessary tabs during the trials to reduce bandwidth use.
  • Zoom App – Download the Zoom app. If you can, download the Zoom app for best results. If you cannot download the app, you can still join using the link on a browser.
  • Device – Computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. It is recommended to use either a desktop computer or laptop. You can use a tablet or phone, but some features might be limited.
  • Microphone – Audio devices and proximity. You can use your computer microphone/speaker, an external microphone/speaker, earpiece, headset, etc. To minimize background noise, a headset or earpiece is a general best practice. For the computer microphone/speaker or an external microphone/speaker, be as close to the microphone as possible. We encourage to test the microphone with someone to make sure you are heard loud and clear on their side. We also encourage you to practice muting and unmuting your microphone.
  • Push to Talk – Zoom has a handy Push to Talk feature which ensures you not to fiddle around too much trying to unmute yourself every time you want to speak in a meeting. Simply press and hold the spacebar to temporarily unmute yourself.
  • Testing audio – Testing audio is recommended before joining a Zoom meeting. When joining a meeting a pop-up window will appear to test your speakers. If you do not hear the ringtone, use the drop-down menu, or click No to switch speakers until you hear the ringtone. Click Yes to continue to the microphone test. If you do not hear an audio replay, use the drop-down menu of click No to switch microphones until you hear the replay. Click Yes when you hear the replay.
  • Backgrounds – No virtual backgrounds. Virtual backgrounds (and profile pictures) are not allowed because they take up a lot of bandwidth. All participants should have a blank background (light neutral colors such as white, beige, or grey), if possible, without any distracting objects in the background.
  • Lighting – Have a light in front of you. You want to make sure you have light (window or lamp) in front of you and not behind you.
  • Exhibits – Have readily available. All active team members and substitute must have the exhibits (and the case) readily available but may only refer when prompted.
  • Naming Rule – Must always be used. All attendees must follow the naming rule to be admitted to the virtual courtroom and throughout the trial – (Trial#) Team Code (P/D) First and Last Name (Role). Teams will receive team codes a couple of weeks before the competition and the trial number the day of trial.
  • Speaker or Gallery view – There are two options available. You can pick one of the two view options; this only impacts your view. In a speaker view, the person speaking takes up your screen view. In a gallery view, you will view all participants in a grid layout.
  • Chat Feature – Open the chat feature on the zoom menu bar. To send a private message scroll through the names on the list to select the person you want to send a private message to, then type message and send. You can select in advance the name you might want to send a message to and have it ready. (Reminder – only communication between trial attorneys (defendant) and between the clerk and unofficial timer is allowed during trial. Teams may communicate with coaches during the 30 second rule only.)