Make Your Case: Game Instructions
See below how you can turn on navigation to complete the game in one class period. Also see how you can save a partially played game so you can resume it at the same point later on.
Register: Players register individually or in teams as counsel representing either the plaintiff (bicyclist) or the defendant (driver).
Opening Statements: Following registration, the attorneys select evidence for their opening statements. Players receive feedback and earn points by selecting items from their notes that will contribute to an effective case.
Scoring: As the trial proceeds, students will continue to receive points for making good decisions on behalf of their client. The point totals for each side are displayed on screen throughout the game. These scores reflect the proficiency of the attorneys, not the merits of their respective cases.
Questioning: After opening statements, two witnesses for the plaintiff (the bicyclist and the police officer) and two for the defendant (the driver and the eyewitness) are questioned. Players select the questions they will ask. If players are uncertain of which question to ask, they may review the case file before deciding. The case file contains summaries of the witness’ depositions as well as a diagram of the accident, a police report, and a tip sheet titled “When Do I Object?”
Objections: A player may object to an attorney’s question or a witness’ answer by clicking the objection button. Players may then replay the last question, check the case file, or choose what rule of evidence is at issue (relevance, speculation, or hearsay). The judge rules on all objections. If the objection is sustained, or accepted, the player earns points. If it is overruled, or rejected, the player loses points.
Closing Arguments: Once all four witnesses have testified, the judge instructs the jury on how to apply the law in the case. The trial then ends with closing arguments. Players choose what to emphasize in their closing statements. Each closing argument will only mention items that were introduced as evidence during the trial. Hence, the players who introduced stronger evidence in support of their case will have stronger closing arguments and will earn more points.
Jury Deliberation: Following closing arguments, the jury deliberates the following questions:
- To what degree, if any, did the defendant cause the plaintiff to suffer damages in the accident?
- Depending on the defendant’s responsibility, how much should he pay the plaintiff? (This amount is calculated by multiplying the defendant’s percentage responsibility by the amount of damages suffered by the plaintiff.
The Verdict: Finally, the jury returns its verdict, which is based on how an average jury would be likely to respond to the evidence presented.
Juror Interviews: After the verdict is delivered, students may interview three of the jurors for feedback on the trial. The jurors’ responses will depend upon the evidence presented during the trial.
Concluding the Lesson: After students have played the game, you may want to discuss some of the following questions with the class:
- What are opening statements and closing arguments? How do they differ?
- What is the difference between direct examination and cross-examination?
- Who raises objections in a trial and why? What are three types of objections?
- What did the jury have to decide in this case?
- What burden of proof did the jurors have to apply in reaching their verdict?
- What skills does an attorney need in trying a case such as this one?
Saving a partially played game to resume later: As you play, your game progress is being saved. So if you quit the game by clicking the "Save and Quit" button (or by just closing your browser), you'll be given the option to resume the game from where you left off the next time you play.
Turning on Navigation: The game is meant to be played in a specific order but you can skip around by turning on the hidden navigation. Once you get to the main screen that shows the trial time line, you can turn on navigation by doing the following:
- On a PC hold the Ctrl key down and click twice with your mouse on the Make Your Case logo in the upper left corner of the game. You can then navigate through the game in two ways: (1) click on the time line to go to any point in the game; (2) hold the Ctrl key down and use the forward and back keys to skip ahead or go back.
- On a Mac hold the Command key down and click twice with your mouse on the Make Your Case logo in the upper left corner of the game. You can then navigate through the game in two ways: (1) click on the time line to go to any point in the game; (2) hold the Command key down and use the forward and back keys to skip ahead or go back.
How to play the game in one class period: First activate the navigation feature. Start the game and then during the Judges Greeting to the jurors, activate the navigation feature by holding down the Ctrl key (or Command key on a Mac) and clicking twice on the Make Your Case logo in the upper left.
Skip the Opening Statements:
After the Judges Greeting concludes, hold down the Ctrl (or Command) key and click the foward arrow key to skip ahead to the Plaintiff Case which starts with introductory testimony by the plaintiff, Suzanne Winters.
Skip the Police Officers introductory testimony and just do the first question:
After the Plaintiff 1st Witness Cross Examination ends, use the navigation controls to skip the Plaintiff 2nd Witness Direct (Police Officer) introductory testimony and then only do the first A/B question set. Then skip ahead to the Defense 1st Witness Direct by clicking on Defense Case in the time line.
Skip Elizabeth Oshima's introductory testimony and just do the first question:
After Defense 1st Witness Cross Examination (the driver - Mario Ramirez) finishes, skip ahead by clicking on Defense 2nd Witness-Direct and just do the first A/B question set. Then skip ahead to the Judge's Instructions to the Jury.
Skip the Closing Arguments:
After the Judge's Instructions to the Jury, click on the Jury's Verdict. If there's time you can also do the juror interviews.
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