The defense attorney in a court case has the task of providing the defendant in a legal case the best representation possible. One of the key elements to providing this defense is the opening statement. This is the time to make the first impression to the jury, so how the defense attorney delivers this opening statement will be critical.
One of the first things that a defense attorney needs to do is to make eye contact with the jury. To direct them as if it was one on one. To make sure that they have memorized all the important information before hand so not to use notes.
Second keep the statement clear and to point. Always refer to the defendant by name as if to make them human to the jury. Give a brief out line of what evidence will be given to prove the defendant’s innocence.
Third, never make any promises that the defendant will testify, by law defendants don’t need to take the stand but may do so voluntarily. Even if the defendant said they would testify at the hearing before the opening statement there is always that chance they will change their mind.
Last try to end the opening statement by letting the jury know that after the evidence and testimony presented that the only verdict to come back with is not guilty. These are some of the key elements to planning a good opening statement by a defense attorney.
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