Tuesday, March 22, 2005

i got back from richmond sunday night, but i'm still so tired, so lethargic. i haven't recovered from the weekend. mock trial trips do that to me, but it's so worth it.

this trip was a blast. team death and team pestilence were competing at nationals in richmond, kentucky. team pestilence finished 4-4 with an honourable mention. (they dropped two to boston university, split with holy cross, took two from kenyon, and then split with wittenburg.) then team death finished 6-2, in third place, and therefore got a bid to the national championships in des moines next month! (they took two from duke, dropped two to harvard [the eventual divisional champions], took two from wisconsin, and took two from boston university).

we drove into richmond thursday night. we left chicago a little after six, and finally rolled into richmond about 1:45 am. the only real stop we took was for dinner at the waffle and steak (apparently that's what all the waffle houses in indiana are called, i don't know why). the car ride was not the most eventful one ever...we listened to basketball games on the radio whenever we could find them, and otherwise listened to counting crows. when we got in, i called my boyfriend for a while, chatted with my friends in my room, and finally passed out about 3:30 am.

the tournament didn't start until friday evening, so team death and most of the coaches got to sleep in. still, i, along with team pestilence, were up early the next morning...team pestilence was scrimmaging mizzou over in the conference room at mizzou's hotel, and we had to be there by 10:30. so, i was up by around nine, and downstairs in time to eat the hotel breakfast and watch sportscenter, catch the ncaa tourney scores from the night before. then, we went over to the scrimmage. it was the third time i had seen mizzou this year (i had judged them at kansas, and judged them again at illinois state--both times back in the fall, and both times on defense). this time, i was seeing their defense yet again. i was sort of hoping to see their plaintiff for once, but i really wanted to see pestilence's plaintiff before they brought it into competition. pestilence went plaintiff, and all was well. it was a very solid scrimmage...i presided over it, and was happy with what i saw. the plaintiff sharrow played well, and was less over-the-top than i had seen it. the kissner was getting more emotional, which was really good. i had been a little worried about one or two of the crosses, and they went well enough for a tournament. all in all, it was a very good scrimmage. i'm glad pestilence got the run-through before going into battle...as strange as it sounds, it made me a lot less nervous as a coach.

after the scrimmage...lunch at waffle house! i hadn't been to a waffle house in years before this tournament...and now two trips in less than twenty-four hours...yummy...yay waffle house!!!

friday night, first round, i did something i never thought i'd be able to do so soon--i got to JUDGE a round at nationals!! it was sweet! they needed a couple of coaches, and they gave me an assignment. i presided over wittenburg against pittsburgh. it was a good round...i thought the witnessing was pretty equal on both sides...both teams were solid, knew what they were doing, but could have stood to be a lot less bland. pitt's attorneying was generally better, though...wittenburg made some weird, incongruous objections (including one, "improper bolstering", that just didn't exist). pitt had one attorney who was way too smug in my opinion, but oh well. their middle attorney was awesome, and i was sad to see that he didn't give a speech. direct exams are often so mediocre--but his sharrow direct was just plain dead on. i picked pitt up by seven or eight...i didn't have a chance to count after the round. i usually do, but both side's attorneys were too long winded on objection arguments--and they went within a few minutes of the all-loss time.

saturday morning, second round, i watched team pestilence go plaintiff against holy cross. i wanted to see how their plaintiff sharrow went in a real round. it had gone really well in the scrimmage against mizzou on friday morning, but i wanted to see it with round-judges. (i presided over that scrimmage, so i had some idea what i was going to be seeing and possibly ruling.) the round went alright...our kaplan cross was absolutely sexy. the siegfried cross also went absolutely beautifully...the attorney did a really sweet impeachment by omission that made the siegfried look bad. some of the attorneys on the other team were on notes, which annoyed me...but i don't think the judges noticed. after the round, in comments, it sounded like the female judge dropped us and the male judge picked us up...but from what i heard from someone on the team after the tournament, the ballots split the other way. who knows...

third round, saturday afternoon, i watched team death. they were going defense, and i had not seen their defense. i wanted to see how their defense sharrow went--it was amazing in practices, and i wanted to see it in a round. turned out, though, that did not happen--uw-madison called kissner-sharrow-dehnert, so team death had to call a leo instead. that round went so well. there was one really funny part...the attorney from wisconsin was up there doing a leo cross, and crossing on the fact that it doesn't mention in the affidavit that leo was taking placebos instead of real schizophrenia medications. our leo said that that's what she meant, placebos. so, the next two questions in the leo cross were as follows:
"you're an author, ms. leo."
"you speak with words."
"yes...yes i do."
that was so funny, the other coach there and i about cracked up when that happened. it was goofy. the other highlight of the round was the closing...the other team's theme was "where there's smoke, there's fire". so, our defense closer, turned that theme around wonderfully. at the beginning of the closing, he said "the plaintiff has promised you smoke and fire, and all they've given you was smoke and mirrors." he proceeded to compare each part of the burden that the plaintiff failed to prove to smoke and mirrors. that closing was a work of art.

saturday night, we had dinner at a sports bar. we did bar trivia, drank beer, and watched basketball. it was a good, laid-back mock trial evening. eight of us eventually stayed around and did rock-and-bowl, since the sports bar was attached to a bowling alley. that was so much fun, as i had not been bowling in several months. i was just drunk enough to calm down whereas not drunk enough to lose coordination...and i bowled a 148. it was hot. we then had an air hockey tournament...i made it to the finals somehow, whereupon i got my butt whipped. i suck at air hockey.

sunday morning, i was tired, really tired. i did not want to get out of bed at all. but, eventually i did...there was a fourth round to go to. since i had seen pestilence's plaintiff and not death's, i watched team death's plaintiff against boston university that morning. that was the best case team death put on all year of the ones i had seen. everybody was just plain on. the crosses, especially, went absolutely beautifully...i loved the leo cross, the siegfried cross was just short and sweet, and the kaplan cross just plain owned. in girken, something quite funny happened. our girken enters just the 4% chart. there are other pages that amta provided...an 8% chart, a 15% chart, raw pga earnings data, and quartile calculations of that earnings data. when they entered the 4% chart, the attorney from bu objected to the fact that the document was incomplete. they argued it (although that wasn't a real objection per the rules of evidence), and the judge let it in and said the attorney could cross on it if she wanted to. she crosses on it, and cuts off girken when he tries to explain. our attorney objects to allow the witness to answer (which should have happened way earlier, as all the bu attorneys were cutting off all of our witnesses!), and the objection is sustained. so, our girken proceeds to explain that yes, the full document that he provided to both counsel was about thirty pages long, but the other pages were either calculations of unlikely situations, or just lots of raw data from the pga--basically stuff that was long, boring, and unnecessary for the resolution of this case. in other words...j. whitney girken 1, crossing attorney 0. that was awesome to watch.

after fourth round, we went over to the awards ceremony. there was some time to kill, and one of our mockers had brought a plastic bat and ball. so, we played wiffleball right outside the student services building at eku. it was lots of fun...i looked kinda stupid hitting, running, and fielding in my knee-high boots (heretofore known as the +2 boots of butt-kicking), my skirt, and my blazer, but whatever...it was awesome. after a little baseball, we went back in and staked out chairs for the awards ceremony.

after a longish wait, the tab room staff finally showed up, and they could start the awards ceremony. they started with individual awards, and they announced one of our attorneys on team death as getting one. there was some confusion as to a couple of the awards...a couple of people were announced as getting witness awards when they really had earned attorney awards...there was a little confusion in writing it down in tab, i guess. then, they showed the slide show...and finally got to team awards.

they were announcing garmer division (our division) team awards, and announced that wittenburg had finished 3-4-1 with an honourable mention...and since pestilence had hit them fourth round (wittenburg was 2-3-1 going in), we knew pestilence had split the ballots, finishing 4-4. they then announced that boston university had finished 3-4-1 with an honourable mention--they (at 3-2-1) had gone against death fourth round, so we knew death had picked up both of the ballots and finished 6-2. they then announced, in the honourable mentions, that team 696 had finished 4-4, with an honourable mention. we were very confused, as 696 was not pestilence's number--it was death's. we asked, and they said no, it was still 696. so, death's captain came up on stage, accepted the award, and went back to his seat. we knew that couldn't be right, though, so he gave the trophy to pestilence's captain. they announced the teams, up into the top ten, and kept announcing teams other than death...so who knows, they might get a trip to des moines? i was still flipping out that they were going to be out-SOO'ed. but, they announced 5th place...a known 6-2...that wasn't death, but northwestern. then, they announced 4th place...another 6-2...that was pittsburgh! sure enough, they announced 3rd place...and they said they had a mistake in the honourable mentions, that the chicago team that finished 4-4 was in fact 697...and that 696 was 6-2, third place, and going to des moines! that was just plain awesome, they got a bid to des moines the hard way!!!

it turned out, the 6-2 tiebreaker hinged on pestilence taking a ballot from wittenburg in the last round. pittsburgh and death had the same strength of loss--as both of them had dropped their only two ballots to harvard, who won the division. but, death's strength of win was one win higher than pitt's. pitt had hit wittenburg first round. if wittenburg had taken both from pestilence instead of just one, they would have had tied strength of win, tied strength of loss, tied combined strength--and then pitt would have gotten the bid to des moines on point differential. it was tight...but death had just enough of a higher strength of opposition to finish at the top of the heap of 6-2 teams...and get that bid to des moines.

after the ceremony, i ran around to do congratulations, and then went outside to take team pestilence's picture. before the picture ever happened, though, pestilence's captain looked over the ballots--and realised that they had messed up in announcing attorney awards--he had gotten 18 ranks and should have gotten one as well. since it was within the 30 minute protest period still, we went back in to tell the officials, and they should be getting an award on the way to him. :) then, they did the division draw for des moines--they're again this year very skewed. unlike last year, though, we got put into the less tough division. that's not to say that the division isn't tough at all, though...des moines' field is very, very deep this year, and this division is definitely tougher than the baker division was last year.

after all that was said and done, we did one last southern thing before leaving kentucky--lunch at the cracker barrel! i had chicken and dumplings, which makes me happy. they're yummy. then, we left...i was in the van that detoured to big bone lick state park, where we took a picture or two in front of the funny sign. it was far enough off the highway that we did a nice little drive through rural, foothill, kentucky...an interesting little detour. the rest of the drive was rather uneventful...we drove home, and by ten or so when we got in, i was absolutely exhausted.

i didn't do jack yesterday because of it, and i haven't done jack yet today. i was supposed to go into work at my barcoding job today, but i begged off...decided i was going to stay home until my training at leona's tonight. i then slept a while longer, from 6:30 (when i would have had to get up) until 10:30. i like sleep...i may even take a nap this afternoon, i'm still really groggy.

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