On Wednesday, December 5, Professor Bill Beecken of Southern Polytechnic State University held a mock trial for the students of his Fraud Examination class. The purpose of this mock trial was to teach the students about the legal process, the tools and techniques used to build a case, and the skills needed to serve as an expert witness at trial. Professor Beecken divided his students into two teams: one team to build a case for the prosecution’s expert witness, and a second team to build a case for the defense team’s expert witness.
In sessions leading up to the trial, IAG professionals worked with each team to help strengthen their cases. Caroline Chang and Pat Salem helped the prosecution’s team prepare and organize their schedules and exhibits. In addition, they helped their expert witness build a roadmap to effectively present their case during direct examination, and prepare for the expected grilling during cross examination.
Laurie Dyke and Luke Thomas worked with the defense team. This team’s approach differed from that of the prosecution. Rather than telling their side of the story with schedules and exhibits, this team prepared a rebuttal. Laurie and Luke helped their team develop an argument that would cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. They, too, prepared their expert witness for the intricacies of both direct and cross examination.
Karen Fortune served as the presiding judge and maintained order in the court throughout the trial.
The mock trial was a great success . The students were left with a better understanding of the legal system and the role that the expert witness plays in this system. We applaud Professor Beecken for providing his students with this real-world experience.
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