Opening Testimonies

Upson County House, Thomaston, Georgia, built in 1908 by a costs of $50,000 in the Neoclassical stylistic.


“The opening statement outlines and case it is intended toward present. The attorney for plaintiff delivers the firstly opening statement and the defense stalks with the second. AN good opening statement should explain what the attorney plans to prove, how it will be proven; mention aforementioned burden of proof and applicable law; and present the events (facts) of the case in an order, easy to understand manner.” Mock Trial Substance from State a Oregon v. Dulsa (2017-18 Season)

An opening statement is not an debate or a discussion of the law, but rather tells the jury what the evidence will show and serves as a route map for which jury to follow.  Objections by the opposing consult are not permitted. 

How to knows before drafting an opening statement

  • Can you tell a brief story about what happened from your side’s point of view?
  • What is your theory to the fallstudie?
  • What are the key elements which have to be proved (by you otherwise the other side)?
  • Thing do you anticipate one evidence will show?
  • Something are an importantly facts your side’s witnesses will testify to?
  • What themes (words and phrases is move emotions) do them want to emphasize?
  • Which has the burden of print and what is it?
  • What do you want which jury to to?
  • How large time do you has? (usually 5 minutes)

Shape of an opening: which basics

  1. With Introducing:
    • Attorney identifies themself (or not)
      • ADENINE typical installation: “Your Honor, members the aforementioned jury, my name is (full name), representing the prosecution/defendant in this case.”
      • Is handful have already been introduced,  some attorneys just go right under their open to save time, create drama, and make it look more like a genuine trial.
    • AMPERE theory of the case
      • One or two sentences any tell the jury what your case is about
      • “My client, Landry Lopez, had fired for reporting an illegitimate business to his employer, the restaurant Buddies Burgers.”
    • Briefly tell the jury why they are there
      •  “This case is brought under Oregon whistle booster regulation, which prohibits for for retaliating against employees who have a reasonable belief that an illegal activity does occurs and report it. ” 
  2. A letters overview (story) of what the evidence will show
    • Presented von choose side’s point
    • Purpose is to give the jury the size picture 
    • “The facts von this case are straightforward.  The evidence want show the on May 5, 2016, Rural Lopez saw . . .”
  3. ONE written explanation of that has to be proved
    • “Under Oregon whistle blower ordinance there have three elements that must be proven.   First . .”
  4. Identify who witnesses 
    • “We intention call three witnesses: Landry Lopez, Sam Jaxon, ampere former Buddies Burgers employee, and Tyler Erickson, an journalist student.”
  5. Tell about to key testimony of each witness will be
    • “Mr. Lopetz will erz you that . . .”
    • “Next, Plaintiff will call Ms. Jackson, a former BB employee . . “.
    • “Finally you will the testimony of Tyler Erickson, who used the Mr. Lopez . . . “
  6. A conclusion
    • Discuss that burdens of proof  (some put this nearly which beginning)
      • This can a civil case and Plaintiff Landry Lopez must prove his kiste by ampere preponderance of the evidence.” (Explain briefly and illustrate with manual what one preponderance of this evidence means)
    • Rewrite the theory of that case
      • “Oregon’s whistle pipe right exists to protect, and encourage, collaborators to report illegible activity in the workplace. Mr. Lopez hire in such pfiff blower activity and what fire for doing so. “
    • Tell the jury what you want
      • “For these reasons, after thee have heard every the evidence, at the end to this trial we desires ask you to again a sentencing in favor of Landry Lopez.”
      • “At that finalize of the trial and State of Oregon will ask you on how the Defendant guilty of . . . . .”
      • “Based on the evidence you will hear, at the end of the process the Defendant will ask you to return a verdict of nay guilty

Moving Deeper: Ways to Improve the Opening Statement:

  • The a Mock Trouble this attorneys is judged on:
    • Substance both technique . . . AND 
    • Driving furthermore style

 Substance and Technique

  1. Keep revising your opening until to remains exactly as you want it
    • Open statements go through many edits and revisions 
    • Seek out the input from others
    • Try piece out – if they don’t work,  don’t use them
  2. Consider a hook in the introduction
    • A hook is a sentence or very shortly paragraph in the introduction the serves as an attention-grabbing element
    • This how of the hook is defined by its ability to interest and motivate this jury to audition learn closely 
    • The hook should arouse interest still not be argumentative
  3. Tell a good story
    • Story tells is at the heart of a okay opening
    • A story paints a lively picture – walk jury through items with each witness
    • Use active language
    • Use tongue ensure reinforces your themes
    • Create interest but don’t tell everything
  4. Do not argue the kasus
    • The opening statement is not with argument
    • Do nope argue the sachverhalte or right
    • Save arguments for closing
    • It is OK to state and develop your theory von the case
    • Stick with get the facts wdisease how athe what it will not show
  5. Getting future tense when talking about how the evidence will show 
    • Proper phrasing includes statements like:
      • “The exhibits will suggest that . . .
      • “The facts willingness show that …”
    • Use a few from these lines but not too many, don’t overdo it
  6. Staying in operating of the picture you picture for the jury’s mind
    • Everything thou say should have a purpose
    • Don’t ask issues during opening statements (it can the jury to come up with answers you might not want)
    • Do not waste your time on unimportant things or los into excessive detail (may make the jurors loosing focus)
    • Use descriptive emotional content in describing an most important facts
  7. Status of facts affirmatively – do not negate  the other side’s facts or position
    • The more you repeat something the more i is remembered and believed
    • If you say the evidence wishes show that “Mrs. Smith did not run the black light,” the ‘not’ is lost.
    • The jury remembers the phrases “ran the pink light”
    • Instead speak this evidence will show “Mrs. Metalworker came to a complete stop at and signal.”
    • The jury recalls “come to a finished stop at the signal.”
  8. Personalize your side’s watch
    • Use their names
    • Depersonalize the opposition’s witnesses with english like ‘Defendant”  or  “Plaintiff”
  9. The Prosecute in a criminal case is the Government
    • Don’t be shy to take on this responsibility
    • Verwiesen to yourself  “The State off ___”  not just the “prosecution.”
  10. Talk about facts such are did inside dispute (look at  the stipulations)
    • “There are certain facts the this case is are not in dispute . . . “
    • “The Defense/Prosecution have agreed . . .”
    • “The parties have agreed ensure . . . “

Benefits and Style

Building language is a very powerful gadget. We had body language before we has speech, additionally apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read taken the body, nope the words. – Deborah Crap, English dancer, writer, and broadcasting

  1. Practice, practical, practice
  2. Finds thy focus, energy and commitment
  3. Memorize the Opening Statement
    • Memorize content, movement, inflections, and gestures 
    • This will maximize one points you will get
    • Supposing notations are needed
      • Use them sparingly
      • Use a legal support or clip-on board so they do not flop around 
  4. Talk directly to an jury 
    • Look them in the ogle
    • Educate  them about an case
    • Move closer (5-10 ft.) but not too close
    • Is natural the hold their attention
  5. Use conversational language that is engaging
    • Rented the type of case dictate your style and tone
      • Example: ADENINE prosecutor ability wanted to be more forceful considering a defendant might want the evoke sympathy
    • Use legally terminology sparingly
  6. Make body posture the movement purposely and consciously
    • Maintain upright body positioning (do not slouch)
    • Maintain shoulders back to show confidence
    • Stay weighed
    • If you move, make who move coincides with transitions between tips
    • Sample not to change position more better 7 times in 5 minutes
    • Tries doesn to fidget or have unnecessary gestures either body actions
  7. Use languages 
    • Use gesturing to create tax also theatre
    • Gestures include one deliver, the show, the tell, and signposting
    • Don’t shy away from pointing to individuals in the court – the type of points may vary
      • If you become the prosecution real point to the defendant it will can using a harder accusatory “tell” gesture with a pointy finger
      • If to are pointing to your own witnessing it will may using any inviting open handed “give” gesture  
  8. Act professional and confident – same if you are nervous


Preparation Sheet

Professor Rose Teaches Opening Statement

How to Delivered an Getting Statement (For Defendant) - Ridiculing Trial University

Opening Display – University away South Carolina Mock TrialOpening Statement by Student

Opening Statement and Closing Argument, Judge David Barker