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CLOSING ARGUMENT VISUALS

Argument visuals are essential for a successful closing argument. For my Comprehensive Trial Advocacy class, the students are assigned the task of creating a visual for trial. Then, in their mock trial they utilize visuals to among other things bring their summations alive for the jury. For example, Grace Dyer, shown here, argued self defense [...]

CLINT EASTWOOD AND ADVOCACY

Halftime Pep Talk and Trial AdvocacySuper Bowl has come and gone. As have the ads. Much has been said and written about Eastwood’s halftime advertisement for Chrysler. Carl Rove attacked it, claiming that it was a payback to Obama for the bailout. Joe Klein in Time magazine mused over how Rove and the Republicans got [...]

CLOSING ARGUMENT PITFALLS

Checklist of Don’t for Closing Argument Don’t damage your closing argument by stumbling into these pitfalls. Avoid: A preramble. “First I want to thank you. This has been a long trial . . .blah . . .blah.”  A weak beginning.  Obviously attempting to ingratiate yourself with the jury.  Projecting insincerity. Making an [...]

WINNING CLOSING ARGUMENT – HOW TO CONCLUDE

The Call to ArmsPrior posts – one on closing argument strategies and another on analogies - have recommended modeling closing arguments after Vincent Bugliosi’s closing argument templates found in his book Outrage, which provides sample closings that he would have given if he had prosecuted O. J. Simpson. Another Bugliosi book, Helter Skelter, also provides [...]

UNORTHODOX REBUTTAL CLOSING ARGUMENT STRATEGY

Averting an Attempt to Blunt a Rebuttal ArgumentIs there anything more powerful and gratifying than a good rebuttal closing argument? It’s rightfully called the “hammer.” When you have the rebuttal, you can expect that opposing counsel will attempt to deflect the hammer blows. Here is a transcript of just such an effort:Defense counsel used this [...]

SUCCESSFUL CLOSING ARGUMENT STRATEGIES

More of Vincent Bugliosi’s Best – The Unanswerable-Questions StrategyAs was previously discussed here, a winning closing argument is often the product of learning from hard working, skilled trial lawyers. In the book Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder, Vincent Bugliosi, who successfully prosecuted Charles Manson (chronicled in his book [...]

THE WINNING CLOSING ARGUMENT

Best of Vincent BugliosiA winning closing argument is often the product of learning from the best of the best trial lawyers, whether it is a how-to technique for delivery or some content for closing. A valuable resource, particularly for prosecutors, is Vincent Bugliosi’s book about the O. J. Simpson case, entitled Outrage: The Five Reasons [...]

ANY DOWNSIDE TO CHANNELING IN CLOSING ARGUMENT?

The Too Powerful Closing ArgumentAs was discussed and illustrated in the last post, the trial technique of channeling the deceased in closing argument can be extremely effective in bringing the case to life in the courtroom. Counsel speaks as the deceased, telling the jury how the deceased feels. An example of the power of channeling [...]

CHANNELING IN CLOSING ARGUMENT

North Carolina ChannelingJOHN EDWARDS CHANNELSGerry Spence is credited with introducing the concept of channeling into closing argument – speaking in the first person as though the lawyer is the injured or deceased person. In his book Four Trials, John Edwards describes how when he was not more than a North Carolina trial lawyer he channeled [...]

LAST SUMMER READING FOR TRIAL LAWYERS – IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE BY JOEL J. SEIDEMANN

Great Opening Statements and Closing ArgumentsThis last recommended summer read – In the Interest of Justice – Great Opening and Closing Arguments of the Last 100 Years, HarperCollins Publishers, 2004 – is a gift to trial lawyers. The gift to trial lawyers is given by author Joel J. Seidemann, who is a Manhattan Assistant District [...]