While it is a fine RP choice to make your character a bad judge in character, everyone should know the rules and courtroom process OOC. The following questions pertain to the process of a trial.
When hearing opening statements which party goes first? prosecution defence
Before testifying a witness is generally what by the bailiff? sworn in welcomed given a cup of tea
Should the judge ask questions of their own to a witness, defendant or prosecutor? Yes No Only to clarify information already entered into evidence.
It is the judge's responsibility to ensure both the prosecution & defence are competent to complete their task. If a defendant elects to defend themselves but the judge does not consider them competent to do so, the court should be adjourned and a should be lodged.
When hearing closing arguments, which party goes first? Defence Prosecution
While we understand most people taking this bar exam are not RL lawyers, for the sake of immersion and sense we are going to cover some commonly misunderstood terminology. This does not mean your character needs to be a good lawyer/judge. It is perfectly acceptable to play a character that is unknowledgeable or simply bad at their job. However, if this isn't the case for your character, we hope the following helps.
HEARSAY Hearsay is when a statement made outside of testimony is offered for the truth of it. If a statement is being quoted to simply prove it was made, this is not hearsay. This does not only apply to statements from other people, it can also apply when referring to statements the person testifying has made while not in court. There are many exceptions to hearsay you should be aware of, so many in fact that hearsay as an objection is almost completely voided, for example: 1. If the statement was made by the opposing party it is excluded from the hearsay rule. (For example: Sam is testifying for the prosecution in John's trial. Sam says 'John said to me that he was going to kill that man.' This is not hearsay. 2. If the witness has made prior inconsistent statements, even while not under oath. For example, in John's trial he testifies that he has never met Sam before. However, there is a statement from another party that says 'John told me he and Sam often went to drink at the saloon together'. This is not hearsay. 3. If a witness quotes a statement made while shocked or startled and the statement relates to the incident that caused it. For example, Sam testifies he was standing next to another witness, Jane, when she turned to him and said 'Oh my! That man with the black hat just shot that sheriff!'. This is not hearsay. 4. If a statement is made describing the declarant's then current state of mind, motive, intent or emotions. For example 'Just before the shooting happened I heard John say he was going to kill Sheriff Billy and all his family.' This is not hearsay.
Thanks for completing the GunSmoke County Bar Exam. We wish you luck in your future legal endeavours.