Week 8 2022

Week 8: Getting Started on Mock Trial Preparation

Week 8: Getting Started on Mock Trial Preparation

Mary Hudson, University of Florida

The mock trial preparation is well underway and I continue to be blown away by the support and input offered by the partners and associates in the Orlando office. I also had the opportunity to travel to Daytona Beach to watch an inspection with associate Sandra Ferrin. I really enjoyed this experience because I observed how opposing counsel works together, how competing experts work together, and how lawyers and clients work together. I was surprised to see how congenial the relationships were, even with opposing counsel.

On Saturday, a group of summer associates, associates, and partners went to dinner at The Pinery on Lake Ivanhoe. The food and cocktails were delicious and the restaurant itself was fun and full of history. It was nice getting to know the people of RumbergerKirk at an informal event. If we did not, I might not have had the pleasure of knowing how funny managing partner Frank Sheppard is!

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Ella Biggins, Florida State University

My highlight of this week was touring the courthouse for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit with Judge Palermo. Since the Judge is a Florida State Law alumni, he very graciously invited all the FSU Law students in the area to come spend the morning with him at the courthouse. I learned A LOT. He walked us through courtroom etiquette, and why an attorney should never refer to the lectern as a podium. Small practical tips like this are things we usually have to learn the hard way, so I will take all the advice I can get from a sitting judge!

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Chris Jablonski, Washington and Lee University

Unfortunately Week eight was cut short for me because I was sick on Thursday and Friday. But that didn’t stop my week from being eventful! I attended two depositions with partner Steve Klein in Ocala on Tuesday. The depositions took up the entirety of the day, but it was worth it to see Steve in action and learn about the strategies he uses when taking depositions. On Wednesday, it was my turn to give my case presentation during the attorney luncheon. I was very nervous, but managed to get through it with minimal hiccups. It has been very helpful having so many opportunities to practice public speaking this summer.

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Hannah Klonowski, Stetson University

This week marked the end of the Summer Associate Writing Competition and the beginning of the Mock Trial. I think the most challenging portion of the Mock Trial so far is attempting to prepare both the Plaintiff and Defendant’s cases at the same time.  Since we will not find out which side we are arguing until the day before the Mock Trial, both cases will need to be fully prepared by the end of the coming week. Besides the Mock Trial prep, it was also a unique week because Orlando attorney Brad Davis took the time to teach the Summer Associates the ins and outs of mergers and acquisitions. 

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Jordan Benatar, University of Florida

Week eight was when I realized how much I enjoy mock trial. While Tuesday was dedicated to Direct Examination, which was alright, we focused on Cross Examination on Wednesday which was extremely fun. On Friday we conducted our opening and closing statements which was fun too. It’s almost like writing a script for a movie or play. There needs to be a theme, and you must follow that theme throughout the entire trial.

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Madison Buckley, University of Florida

This week was my birthday, and my wonderful friends Marifel Rosario and Diana Bronson (with some assistance from Reggie Guillaume) decorated my office for me to help celebrate! They really made me feel special! And to make my birthday even better, we had the office multicultural food festival that day so I got to try some wonderful food at lunch. We ordered from local restaurants, including Peruvian, Jamaican, and Greek food so there was tons of good stuff to eat.

Week eight was also full of mock trial practice (on top of keeping up with regular assignments). But I will say, after every mock trial practice we had I could see a big improvement the next day–thanks to the good feedback I received from each of the attorneys I practiced with! Not only did I get a chance to practice my direct examination, cross-examination, and closing argument in front of attorneys from the Orlando and Miami offices, I also learned how to get an exhibit into evidence in a trial. I know everyone is so busy, but still they take time out of their day to practice with us and it really makes a big difference.

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Evan Thomas, Florida International University

This week was all about preparing for the Mock Trial Competition. We had three practices, all of which focused on different parts of the trial. My favorite practice session was the session that focused on cross examination. Cross examination has always been my favorite part of a trial. As the attorney, you are in the driver’s seat. As long as you come prepared, you can control the witness and get them to say what you want the jury to hear.

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