Closing Arguments: Follow the Fundamental Rules

As discussed above, counsel should utilize the structure in delivering his/her summation. If counsel is disorganized in his approach, the jurors will not follow the arguments made and subliminally will believe that counsel is not entitled to a verdict. Again this is a fundamental rule of a winning summation.
Although the fundamental dos are sometimes easy to recognize, there are some fundamental don’ts as well. For example, do not select an issue that an intelligent juror will recognize as being disingenuous or phoney. Never misstate or overstate the evidence. Do not attack a lawyer personally. Do not attack a party or a witness in the case if the attack is not warranted. Do not talk too fast. Do not oversell your case. Do not use big “lawyerly” words. Avoid undue repetition, this includes talking too long. Do not mumble. Do not criticize the Court. Do not personalize your adversary, and instead refer to the “defendant” or the “corporation,” while referring to your client by his first or last name.
Do not rely too much upon the inspiration of the moment. Do not mimic others. Do not demean or criticize unfairly. Strike hard but no foul blows. Finally, do not let your opponent outwork you. As stated, if you are not a show horse, you must be a work horse and practice good fundamentals if you are to be successful.

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