What is allowed in an opening statement?

The opening statement at the beginning of the trial is limited to outlining facts. This is each party’s opportunity to set the basic scene for the jurors, introduce them to the core dispute(s) in the case, and provide a general road map of how the trial is expected to unfold.

What do we write in opening statement?

An opening statement is a factual narrative that should last no longer than is needed to keep the jury’s attention. It should preview, in an understandable way, the anticipated testimony and evidence. It should not bore or confuse the jury with too much detail.

What is an example of a good opening statement?

A typical introduction: “Your Honor, members of the jury, my name is (full name), representing the prosecution/defendant in this case.” If they have already been introduced, some attorneys just go right into their opening to save time, create drama, and make it look more like a real trial.

Are you allowed to object a opening statement?

Objections, though permissible during opening statements, are very unusual, and by professional courtesy are usually reserved only for egregious conduct. Generally, the prosecution in a criminal case and plaintiff in a civil case is the first to offer an opening statement, and defendants go second.

How do you write a powerful opening statement?

Opening Statement Checklist

  1. State your theme immediately in one sentence.
  2. Tell the story of the case without argument.
  3. Persuasively order your facts in a sequence that supports your theme.
  4. Decide whether to address the bad facts in the opening or not.
  5. Do not read your opening statement.
  6. Bring an outline, if necessary.

What should an opening sentence contains?

The topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph. It is introductory, meaning it should not include details, rather, it should introduce the main idea which will be supported by the rest of your paragraph.

What is the first opening statement?

The trial begins with the opening statement of the party with the burden of proof. This is the party that brought the case to court–the government in a criminal prosecution or the plaintiff in a civil case–and has to prove its case in order to prevail. The defense lawyer follows with his or her opening statement.

What is a strong opening sentence?

Start with the chase. A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader. Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don’t think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.”

What makes a successful opening?

The opening lines of a story need to engage the reader so that they keep reading. Narrative hooks work to capture the reader’s attention – like a worm on a fishing hook attracts a fish. Raising questions or setting a puzzle at the start of a story can create intrigue.

What are the features of a good opening?

Opening Chapters of Novels MUST Accomplish These Goals

  • Grab your readers attention. Something must grab the reader’s attention immediately.
  • Ground the reader in the setting.
  • Intrigue the reader with a character.
  • Give the reader a puzzle to solve.

What should you avoid in an opening statement?

The opening statement should be straightforward and direct. Avoid exaggerating or misstating the facts, and don’t overdo the emotion. If a lawyer relies on exaggeration to appeal to the jury, he or she will certainly hear about “broken promises” in opposing counsel’s closing arguments.

What should you not include in an opening statement?


  1. DON’T Use Big Words.
  2. DON’T Ignore Weaknesses of Your Own Case.
  3. DON’T Attack Opposing Counsel.
  4. DON’T Argue the Case.
  5. DON’T Display Affectations.
  6. DON’T Ignore Your Client.
  7. DON’T Ignore Jury Instructions.
  8. DON’T Rush.

What three elements are important for an opening statement?

An opening statement is the most important points in a trial and it provides an attorney with an opportunity to engage with the jury about their case. An opening statement should always include an introduction; a body, which includes a story and a discussion of disputes and weaknesses; and a conclusion.

What are the 5 sentence openers?

In this lesson you have learned to use several kinds of sentence openers: dependent clause, prepositional phrases, infinitive phrases, -ing word groups, and transitional words.

What are the 6 types of sentence openers?

There are six sentence openers:

  • #1: Subject.
  • #2: Prepositional.
  • #3: -ly Adverb.
  • #4: -ing , (participial phrase opener)
  • #5: clausal , (www. asia. b)
  • #6: VSS (2-5 words) Very Short Sentence.

What 2 things should be included in an opening paragraph?

Introductory Paragraphs. Your introductory paragraph is extremely important. It sets the tone for the entire paper and introduces your reader to your argument. In almost all cases, you want to be sure the paragraph has the following components: a thesis statement and a preview of how you will make your argument.

How do you introduce yourself in an opening statement?

The first sentence of your self-introduction should include your name, job title or experience. If you’re unemployed and seeking a job, you might mention your educational degree, certification level or current place in your job search.

How do you write an opening statement for an introduction?

To write an opening statement, start with your introductory remarks that summarize the case, state your theme, and intrigue the jurors. Then, go on to introduce your client, as well as any other witnesses involved in the case.

How do you start an opening statement for a debate?

In the opening statement, you must clearly present your team’s case, explain why your argument is strong, and state what criteria your team will use to support it. At the end, you must wrap up your team’s case and re-state why it is the better argument.

How long is an opening statement?

between 10 and 45 minutes

Most opening statements take between 10 and 45 minutes, although, depending on the complexity of the case, some may take longer. Some jurisdictions have developed rules for how long opening statements, as well as closing statements, may be. Other jurisdictions leave such time limitations to the judge’s discretion.

What should you not do in an opening statement?


  • DON’T Use Big Words.
  • DON’T Ignore Weaknesses of Your Own Case.
  • DON’T Attack Opposing Counsel.
  • DON’T Argue the Case.
  • DON’T Display Affectations.
  • DON’T Ignore Your Client.
  • DON’T Ignore Jury Instructions.
  • DON’T Rush.