Personal Injury Opening Statements and Closing Arguments: Preparing and Delivering, Handling Objections and Related Motions

Developing and Presenting a Persuasive Roadmap, Delivering a Convincing and Memorable Case Summation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to personal injury litigators for preparing and delivering effective opening statements and closing arguments. The panel will discuss strategies for proper timing and sequencing of opening statements and closing arguments, making and responding to objections during opening and closing, and bringing and defending motions related to conduct or assertions during opening statements or closing arguments.

Description

Opening statements and closing arguments are major influencers of jurors’ perceptions of the theories, facts and evidence in personal injury litigation. A superbly prepared and delivered opening statement and closing argument can lead to a successful outcome, while a catastrophic opening or closing may doom a case.

According to published reports, more than 80% of jurors make up their minds about a case during opening statements. Opening statements are most effective when personal injury counsel employ creative storytelling techniques and appropriate visual or technological aids, introduce controversial or disputed topics before the opposing side has the opportunity to do so, and avoid the common mistakes of argument, exaggeration and misrepresentation.

Closing argument is the personal injury litigator’s final opportunity to convince jurors to rule in his client’s favor. Effective closing statements are memorable, as with Johnny Cochran's infamous line, "If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit." They are persuasive, should display passion and conviction, and should always involve effective demonstrative visual aids.

Personal injury attorneys must be strategic and thoughtful about the proper organization and timing of the opening statements and closing arguments, as well as versed in how to appropriately make and respond to objections during opening and closing, and how to properly bring or challenge motions related to conduct or assertions during opening statements and closing arguments.

Listen as our authoritative panel of personal injury attorneys discusses key techniques for preparing and delivering opening statements and closing arguments and related issues.

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Outline

  1. Opening statements
    1. Key elements of opening statements
    2. Use of visual/technological aids
    3. Common pitfalls during opening—arguments, exaggeration, misrepresentation, etc.
    4. Common objections during opening
  2. Closing arguments
    1. Key elements of closing arguments
    2. Using visual/technological aids
    3. Common pitfalls during closing
    4. Common objections during closing
  3. Arguing and defending motions related to conduct or assertions during opening statement and closing argument

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are some key considerations for personal injury litigators when preparing opening statements?
  • What common pitfalls do litigators encounter with opening statements?
  • What are some effective strategies for personal injury litigators when delivering closing arguments?
  • What types of objections are often raised by attorneys during opening statements or closing arguments?
  • What are some best practices for bringing and defending motions in limine, motions for mistrial, and other motions related to conduct or assertions during opening statements or closing arguments?

Faculty

Michael A. Brusca
Michael A. Brusca

Shareholder
Stark & Stark

Mr. Brusca dedicates his practice to representing vulnerable individuals and their families in wrongful death,...  |  Read More

Robert F. Glass
Robert F. Glass

Partner
Glass & Robson

Mr. Glass’ practice focuses exclusively on representing individuals who have been seriously injured or killed by...  |  Read More

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