Presentation on theme: "Nuts and Bolts of a Closing Argument NITA Presentation for Juvenile Defenders September 18, 2011 By Michael Washington."— Presentation transcript:
Nuts and Bolts of a Closing Argument NITA Presentation for Juvenile Defenders September 18, 2011 By Michael Washington
Getting permission I used to say... Your Honor, it will only take a moment, and it will better assist the Court’s understanding of the relevant issues in this particular case.
Now I say... In less than 2 minutes I can help the Court understand our issues.
Goals for Opening Statement Have a Theme Tell YOUR Story, quickly Use clear, simple language Start persuading
Persuasive Story Explains all known facts Explains reasons for behavior Told by credible witnesses Supported by details Is consistent with common sense
Closing Argument Parts needed... Your Delivery Your theme Exhibits The Law Your best facts Your weaknesses Emotional connection YOU & The Judge
Your Delivery Make eye contact Lose the notes Use visual aids Create Drama Use gestures, inflection, pauses
The 60-30-10 Rule 60 % Appearance Body Language Dress Composure 30 % Sound Tone / Variety Pace / Volume 10 % Content Word choice
Statistically Speaking (7%) seven percent of information delivered verbally is remembered after three days. (65%) sixty-five percent of information delivered both visually and verbally is remembered after three days. * Effectiveness * UM/3M Study, Management Information Systems Center, School of Management, University of Minnesota
Your Theme Starts your closing Links back to your opening Provides continuity to case Provides organizational framework for argument
Exhibits Must use some because A picture’s worth... Don’t use all - choose only most persuasive Create simple demonstratives Practice how you will handle them and know where you will store them Show them to opposing counsel if any issue of fairness
The Law Identify the issues in dispute Show how the evidence/facts apply Tie them to the verdict
Your best facts Facts first – then conclusions Use their witnesses Accept what they concede Tie to your theme Don’t try to recite all of your good facts
Your weaknesses Acknowledge them Spin them If you can’t spin, explain why despite them you still win
Emotional connection Find the moral outrage of the other side’s claim Appeal to Justice, Fairness, Common Sense – not prejudice Advocate = Persuade
YOU & The Judge Talk to her (or him) Use plain language – simplify Read their response (body language)
Final Thoughts Remember primacy and recency Finish confidently (dismount) Review, Practice, Revise Accept the fact you might goof Be Yourself
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