The closing statement of a trial, also called the closing argument, is the last opportunity for the attorneys in the case to directly communicate with the jury or the judge. It's an important time for them to sum up the case, reiterate testimony and evidence, and drive home points that they have made throughout the trial. While preparing a closing statement, keep in mind that it is in fact an argument. Keep all of this in mind while preparing a closing statement.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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State the overall theme of your case with a persuasive statement. If you don't gain the court's attention in the first minute, you may never be able to get any attention at all.
Touch on the evidence that has been heard, but add arguments that illustrate the way in which the evidence points in your favor.
Refer to the testimony of specific witnesses while preparing a closing statement. Since you want to convince the judge or jury of the facts as you have explained them, include information about what a witness said and why it was said in your closing statement.
Include the weaknesses of your case, in addition to the strengths.The opposition will bring up the weaknesses of your case no matter what. Thus, it's best to just deal with it head-on. By bringing it up yourself, you can frame it in the best way possible.
Include analysis of the evidence in your closing statement. It isn't enough to just include the facts. You must be able to synthesize the information and express it in a way that the jury or judge will understand.
Tips and warnings
- Practice speaking your closing statement before you have to deliver it in court.
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