August 28, 2018 Practice Points

Tips from the Bench: Effective Closing Arguments

How to grab the jury’s attention

by Kaelyn J. Romey

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas E. Stevens shares his thoughts on effectively conducting closing arguments for all lawyers new to trial practice. His insights include avoiding common mistakes and providing sound practices for lawyers in the courtroom. Judge Stevens’ responses are personal and reflect his own views only, and should not be interpreted as made by or on behalf of the judges of the Superior Court for the County of Alameda.

Judge Thomas E. Stevens was appointed to the bench in 2014 by Governor Jerry Brown after a distinguished litigation career in the private and public sectors. Judge Stevens joined the bench after serving as Chief of the Oakland Branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. His well-rounded career began in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, followed by seven years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP. Judge Stevens returned to public service in 2004 as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco in 2008. Judge Stevens combines his experience in trial practice with a view from the bench to share litigation tips with junior trial attorneys around the U.S.

Judge Stevens is interviewed by Associate Professor Kaelyn J. Romey, the litigation director at Golden Gate University School of Law.

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