11/18/19 Criminal Law


Please get a computer

You have until 7:30 to answer two more questions for a total of 6.  Simply answering a question is not enough.  You need to say what the witness put forth in their written testimony and make it convincing and thorough.

Go back and fix the last four questions you were supposed to do on Friday.  You will not get credit for simply giving partial or lazy answers.

Writing an Opening Statement

To prepare an opening statement, attorneys must organize and outline the entire case they intend to prove at trial.

A good opening statement:

  1. Explains what the attorney plans to prove and how they will do it. Presents the events of the case in a clear, orderly sequence.
  2. Suggests a motive or emphasize a lack of motive for the crime.
  3. Is not argumentative. Tell your story without arguing what the case is about in 1-2 sentences
  4. Summarizes your story
  5. Is creative: Use adjectives “It was a dark and stormy night” to give jury a picture of what is going on in your case.
  6. Defense: 1 to 3 pieces of evidence that they are going to see or hear.
  7. Prosecution: What are you going to prove?
  8. Repeats your theme. Make it catchy and memorable!

Attorneys usually begin their statement with a formal introduction:

“Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, opposing counsel, my name is [full name], representing [the state or the defendant] in this action.”

The attorneys then turn to the jury and begin their statements. Opening statements often include such phrases as:

  • The evidence will show that…
  • The facts will prove that…
  • Witness [name] will be called to testify that…

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