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Nuts and Bolts of a Closing Argument NITA Presentation for Juvenile Defenders September 18, 2011 By Michael Washington.

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Presentation on theme: "Nuts and Bolts of a Closing Argument NITA Presentation for Juvenile Defenders September 18, 2011 By Michael Washington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nuts and Bolts of a Closing Argument NITA Presentation for Juvenile Defenders September 18, 2011 By Michael Washington

2 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.

3  Now I say...  In less than 2 minutes I can help the Court understand our issues.

4 Goals for Opening Statement  Have a Theme  Tell YOUR Story, quickly  Use clear, simple language  Start persuading

5 Persuasive Story  Explains all known facts  Explains reasons for behavior  Told by credible witnesses  Supported by details  Is consistent with common sense

6 Closing Argument Parts needed...  Your Delivery  Your theme  Exhibits  The Law  Your best facts  Your weaknesses  Emotional connection  YOU & The Judge

7 Your Delivery  Make eye contact  Lose the notes  Use visual aids  Create Drama  Use gestures, inflection, pauses

8 The Rule  60 % Appearance Body Language Dress Composure  30 % Sound Tone / Variety Pace / Volume 10 % Content Word choice

9 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

10 Your Theme  Starts your closing  Links back to your opening  Provides continuity to case  Provides organizational framework for argument

11 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

12 The Law  Identify the issues in dispute  Show how the evidence/facts apply  Tie them to the verdict

13 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

14 Your weaknesses  Acknowledge them  Spin them  If you can’t spin, explain why despite them you still win

15 Emotional connection  Find the moral outrage of the other side’s claim  Appeal to Justice, Fairness, Common Sense – not prejudice  Advocate = Persuade

16 YOU & The Judge  Talk to her (or him)  Use plain language – simplify  Read their response (body language)

17 Final Thoughts  Remember primacy and recency  Finish confidently (dismount)  Review, Practice, Revise  Accept the fact you might goof  Be Yourself


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