From the New York Law Journal: "Opening to Win: Seven tips for delivering an effective opening statement," by David R. Marriott and Richard Sullivan--
While the opening statement occupies a small portion of most trials, it is difficult to overstate its importance in a jury trial. Done well, a lawyer's opening statement can shape the way jurors receive the evidence and create a lasting positive impression. Done poorly, an opening statement can put counsel at an early disadvantage from which it may be difficult to recover. Although there is no single formula for every case, this article outlines seven tips for delivering a winning opening statement.
In the full article, the authors make the following recommendations:
- Recognize the importance of opening statement;
- Argue without being argumentative;
- Tell your story;
- Focus on your key facts;
- Account for the bad facts;
- Use demonstrative and visual aids; and
- Communicate with conviction.
For details, read the full article. For other tips, see this weblog's opening statement category.