This article will primarily cover how to create a character for a witness.
Before we begin, let’s list out the three different witnesses there are in a Mock Trial case. The three most common witness types are:
- Fact Witnesses – A witness that can give testimony that is limited to what they’ve observed or personally experienced
- Character Witnesses – A witness that can give background about the defendant–both good and bad experiences
- Expert Witnesses – A witness that can infer opinions due to their expert knowledge in a specified field.
Developing the Character
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.~ Arthur Ashe
Developing a character may seem daunting but it’s quite simple. You use what you have based on the context clues given in the witness statement. If your character is a farmer, you may want to dress down a little (depending on if it’s allowed by the competition rules) and talk like a local farmer. If your character is a sophisticated CEO, you may want to dress up more and sound like a city slicker business person.
However, you should be careful and try not to use stereotypes. This is where character development becomes tricky because we don’t want to intentionally make anyone uncomfortable.
This article is super short. Developing a character for a witness is like developing a character as an actor. You just use context clues in the witness statement and try to develop a character that people would understand.