Agenda - Carey v. Musladin
Use the sample agenda as a guide for a classroom or courtroom activity.
Student Attorneys’ Final Preparation. Eight student attorneys, selected by their teacher well in advance, have prepared themselves with the Internet materials provided. On the day of the event, the student attorneys (four on each side of the issue) meet with their attorney coaches (one on each side) at the counsel tables in the Judge’s courtroom. They review their talking points and ask last-minute questions. The rest of the students have a stand-up continental breakfast at another location in the courthouse. (The student attorneys pick up their refreshments on the way to the courtroom). (30 minutes)
Courtroom Set Up. The student attorneys continue to prepare quietly at the counsel tables while the rest of the students arrive in the courtroom. Half of the students sit on each side of the courtroom seating area. Four students are the family of the deceased. They put on the lapel pins (picture of the deceased) and sit in the front row of the audience on the prosecution side of the courtroom. (15 minutes)
Orientation. The program coordinator explains the program. Adult attorneys introduce themselves (why they chose the law, and their career path) and explain the case. (15 minutes)
Welcome. The Judge takes the bench and welcomes everyone. May mention some historical/high-profile cases heard in this courthouse. (5 minutes)
Introduction. Adult attorneys open by presenting the facts of the case, procedures, and issue only. No mention of Supreme Court decision. (5 minutes)
Oxford Debate. The debate starts with both sides presenting Talking Points 1, 2, and 3. (20 minutes ~ 3 minutes per speaker per point)
Open Floor. Students are allowed to move to the side of the courtroom in the audience area behind the respective parties they favor – Carey or Musladin. In essence, they vote with their feet. The attorney coaches go into the audience and gather participants around them on each side of the case. The attorneys help the students come up with thought-provoking questions and hypotheticals that they will raise with the students on the other side of the courtroom. They participate by raising comments and questions directed to anyone on the other side of the issue/courtroom. At this time, students may not address the Judge or adult attorneys – that comes during the debriefing. The facilitator should balance the audience interaction with the student attorneys so that students in the audience spend most of the time debating each other. Student attorneys have a greater opportunity to be in the spotlight when they argue before the judge. (20 minutes)
Summation. The debate is concluded by the student attorney who has volunteered to speak last for his/her team and summarize the team’s position, incorporating points made during the Open Floor debate. (5-10 minutes)
Verdict. The host Judge asks the students, again, to vote with their feet by moving to the side of the courtroom they support – Carey or Musladin. Once settled, the Judge asks the students to vote on the question with a show of hands. (5 minutes)
Summary. The adult attorneys present the Supreme Court’s ruling and reasoning. (5 minutes)
The Judge and adult attorneys take questions from the students about the case. Once those questions wind down, the Judge opens the floor to questions about any topic. (15 minutes)
Informal socializing with the Judge and the attorneys in the courtroom. (20 minutes)
Program adjourns and the students go to lunch.