Thanks. our opening statements, and without this article, I would be lost. % of people told us that this article helped them. This article has been viewed 705,405 times. Using the opening statement as a strategy to achieve this requires that you have a holistic overview of what you intend to say. Good opening statements are limited to just the introductory facts and should not attempt to sway the jury or audience with persuasive language. ", "It has very specific contents. Try writing your opening statement like an essay: thesis/introduction, context, analysis, conclusion. What if I'm the defense side of the case? Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. As much time as you want. Finally, conclude your opening statement by summarizing the theme of your case and asking the jury for a specific verdict. Write out a pro and con list. How much time can I spend on my opening statement in court? By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. This really helped a lot. Introduce the case in a way that will make your client seem innocent and incapable of committing the crime. I am so thankful that you people are nice enough to help others. The way you have broken it down is so helpful to, "I found this article very helpful in order for me to get prepared for my opening statement. This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. What is a good way to write a defensive opening statement? There is no set amount of sentences an open statement should have. An opening statement is the most important points in a trial and it provides an attorney with an opportunity to engage with the jury about their case. What happened in that short week to turn a routine operation into a life and death struggle, and why it never should have happened, is what this case is all about. ", competition, so this really helped me structure a good quality speech. This is simple and direct to the point, thanks. References. It was really helpful to understand what I need to be talking about and how to pursue this. ", Men. I am going to go to Harvard soon, and I am reading up on websites that might help me further my, "I had a school project in which I needed to write an opening statement for a court case, and this helped immensely. Make it long enough that you've covered all of the facts of the case, but not so long that you're including extraneous details and potentially causing the jurors to lose focus. ", work, so I was frantically searching the web on how to write an opening statement. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. I got a perfect score on the project! In debates, one team, called the affirmative or pro side, defends a certain proposition, and the opposing team, also known as the negative or con side, argues against the proposition. What you say at the start of a debate sets the tone for the rest of your speech. Sometimes you will be given the stance, and sometimes you will be asked to take a position. An opening statement should always include an introduction; a body, which includes a story and a discussion of disputes and weaknesses; and a conclusion. Starting with a … You also have to get them curious enough to follow you through to the end of the discussion. Jim won’t even drive with a cell phone on. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. To write an opening statement for a debate, use facts gained from research to support the team's point of view. Another technique is to employ the weapon of storytelling. ", and I needed to know how I should write my opening statement. Remember, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty! I'm the first "prosecution lawyer" for my school's magistrate court mock trial, "I have a mock trial coming up and I think this article has indubitably summed up the professionalism involved in a, "This helped me. ", Consider this good example: "At 9:00, Jim McCutcheon left the steak house, and got into his car to head home. Keep your opening statement short and sweet. To write a closing argument, look back at your opening statement. You should also briefly mention any weaknesses in your case to lessen their impact when your opponent brings them up. The link that our teacher gave us didn't, "I'm a middle school teacher prepping my classes for a mock trial. How many sentences should the opening statement have? To write an opening statement, start with your introductory remarks that summarize the case, state your theme, and intrigue the jurors. ", trial scenario. One pattern of writing an opening statement is to start your debate by giving your audience a road map into the rest of the discourse. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. On the National Debate Forum, the topic given to the students is ‘Should college students or even Class XII students be given unlimited freedom?’ Write a speech for or against the topic in about 200–250 words. I'm writing an essay on if an emperor or empress should be able to be an effective leader. Write your opening statement exactly as you want to present it; Reduce it one last time to a key word outline that you may or may not use during your opening statement itself.