Closing Arguments: Be Yourself

Another fundamental of a sound closing argument is being as natural as you can be. You should never try to imitate someone else’s style or manner. You can only be yourself. The jury is always watching you very closely. Are you sincere? Are you believable? Are you trustworthy? Everything you do must communicate to the jury that you believe to the core of your being in the justness of your client’s cause. If you subliminally communicate such a belief in everything that you do in the presence of the jury, you will have a much greater chance of winning your case. J. D. Lee, a famous trial lawyer from Knoxville, Tennessee, made this observation:
“We have all seen great minds that have been wasted by not putting their knowledge into action. It is true with the trial of a lawsuit. The power of the attorney is expressed in how the attorney conducts him or herself in the courtroom. He or she is the one that brings in the big exhibits, the pictures, the drawings, moves about the courtroom with confidence and clearly shows why he or she is entitled to a verdict. This same professional advocate must display trustworthiness and integrity. The attorney does this by dress, by posture, by demeanor to court and jury and at times just by tone of voice.”
Most experts in the field believe that the manner of the delivery of a closing argument is just as important, if not more important, than the content of the summation. If a jury believes that counsel is honest and forthright and that the attorney is entirely confident in the justness of his client’s cause, the jury is more likely to side with that lawyer.
Thus, it is imperative that one be sincere at all times and that one function within his or her own personality. Attempts at mimicking other attorneys are ill advised. It is impossible to communicate effectively with a jury if one is trying to be anyone other than himself.

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