How To: Organize Your Mock Trial Binder | Golden State Mock Trial
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How To: Organize Your Mock Trial Binder

by Evan Lovell, Elk Grove High School

Cleaning and organizing your mock trial binder is an integral part of trial preparation that should not be overlooked.


Before the trial

Make sure to:

  • Remove loose and miscellaneous papers and old sticky notes
  • Tear old papers off your legal pad–you will want to start with a fresh page
  • Check that you have all of the following things:
    • Important Papers
      • Rosters, for both sides of the cases, with photos (in color)
      • Most recent copy of the errata (in page protector)
      • Most recent copies of your directs, crosses, opens, and closes
      • Checklists – prosecution and defense
      • Rulebook for evidence, trial proceedings, and objections
    • Witness Statements
      • I always had a specific copy of these in a separate binder for impeachments, that way, I did not use them on the daily and they would remain clean and untarnished by the repeated interactions with it. However, this is not required. Just make sure that there is a copy that is not torn, drawn upon, or highlighted, and is presentable to a witness or judge during trial.
    • Other Essentials
      • Sticky notes or small legal pad for communicating with co-counsel during trial
      • 2 or 3 pens – make sure that they are not out of ink

      • A pencil – you never know when you might need to write something erasable



Everything needs to be in a place where you and your co-counsel could easily find them in a pinch. I’d recommend having the prelims and checklists in the front, followed by opens, then directs and crosses (in order of performance), and lastly, closes. The rules should be with the witness statements and errata in a separate binder.

Good luck!

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