August 08, 2017 Articles

The Do's and Don'ts of a Closing Argument

Present your closing argument with vigor, but be careful to follow the rules.

By Farrah Champagne – August 8, 2017

Put aside your fears of public speaking because your closing argument is your last chance to persuade the trier of fact to rule in favor of your client. Present it zealously! United States v. Taylor, 54 F.3d 967, 976 (1st Cir. Mass. May 17, 1995).

Purpose of the Closing Argument
The purpose of a closing argument is to present arguments to the trier of fact based on the evidence presented at trial, which will allow him to analyze and apply the evidence. During the trial, the trier of fact will have observed the case in bits and pieces. The closing argument is meant to assist the trier of fact in putting the pieces together in a way that makes sense of the evidence. The attorney in the closing argument should explain the importance of the case and request that the court rule in her client’s favor.

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