Selected Topics in Trial Advocacy - Opening Statements and Closing Arguments - LAWN577

2 Credits

The importance of the opening statement and closing argument in any trial cannot be overestimated. Despite the fact that most judges instruct their juries that opening statements are not evidence, over 50 percent of jurors have decided where the case should go after the opening statements, without having heard any evidence whatsoever. One's best hope of changing the jurors’ initial impressions is to make a cohesive and persuasive closing argument. Students will work with one case file, developing themes and dissecting the evidence and testimony in order to develop convincing opening statements and closing arguments. We will work on substance, technique and style and each student will have the benefit of having his or her performance(s) critiqued by lawyers and judges so that he or she will be able to incorporate suggestions made in to subsequent presentations during the class. Each student will also have the benefit of having his and her presentations recorded. Limited to 10 students

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