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Mock Trial Skills. Closing Arguments. Opening Talk about facts to be established at trial Arguments from facts not allowed Little or no discussion of law. Closing Work only with facts established in trial Argument from facts is the goal Some discussion of law, burden of proof, etc.

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Presentation Transcript
closing versus opening
Opening

Talk about facts to be established at trial

Arguments from facts not allowed

Little or no discussion of law

Closing

Work only with facts established in trial

Argument from facts is the goal

Some discussion of law, burden of proof, etc.

Closing Versus Opening
so what is argument
So, what is argument?
  • Going beyond the facts to get to the conclusion you think they support
  • Think of it in terms of “so…,” “therefore…,” “however”
  • All cats are mammals…
more on theme and theory
Theme

The “motif” of your case.

The idea or phrase that ties it together

Think of in terms of “This is a case about…”

Theory

Your version of how the facts went down.

Did he hit her and then dump her in the water? Or did he hit her and the surf dragged her under?

Should fit into the law

More on Theme and Theory
primacy and recency rule of 3
Primacy and Recency/Rule of 3
  • Try to organize into three, overarching points or sections.
    • Helps you keep it organized in your head, like a set of book marks
    • Helps others follow along and remember
  • Put your strongest points first or last
direct versus cross ex
Goals of Direct

Let your witness tell their story

Make your witness appear credible

Witness Talks

Focus should be on witness

Goals of Cross

Tell the witness what to say

Make the witness appear un-credible

Attorney Talks

Focus should be on the attorney

Direct versus Cross Ex
straight man funny man
Straight Man/Funny Man
  • Direct is like a Comedy Team
  • The attorney is the straight man
  • The witness is the funnyman
form of the question
Form of the Question
  • Open ended on direct
    • Who…
    • What…
    • Where…
    • When…
    • How…
  • Leading on cross
    • …, didn’t you?
    • …, isn’t it?
primacy and recency rule of 31
Primacy and Recency/Rule of 3
  • Direct and Cross should both be organized in three broad groups of questions
    • Cheating, the beach, school the next day
    • Initial examination of the body, autopsy, final conclusions
  • Biggest points first or last
question order
Question Order
  • Want your questions to build or flow
  • Think of it as a conversation (direct) or an explanation (cross)
  • One question should follow from the next, until you get to the end of your big point
  • Helps jury or judge so answers don’t seem to come out of the blue
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