Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Advocacy & Alternative Dispute Resolution: Opening and Closing Statements

This guide provides links and descriptions to many of the library's resources related to advocacy and dispute resolution, including trial advocacy, client counseling, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, evidence and professional responsibility.

Introduction

American Jurisprudence Trials KF 8915. A74 10th fl.  This print encyclopedia offers more than 120 volumes filled with examples of model opening/closing statements in specific trial situations.  It is also searchable on Westlaw.  More general trial practice texts will also offer tips and techniques for drafting and presenting opening and closing arguments.  Available online via Westlaw.  The sources below address opening and closing arguments in more detail.  In addition, most of the basic texts on trial advocacy will include shorter chapter on opening and closing statements.

Texts

Opening Statements.  Thompson West 2004-.  KF 8915.J84 - 10th Fl. This treatise guides the practitioner through the task of crafting effective opening statements. Using sample opening statements from notable trials, the author illustrates how to win over the jury using demographics, cultural cues and opening "dos and don'ts". Available online via Westlaw

Closing Arguments: the Art and the Law.  Thompson West, c2005.  KF8915.S74 2005- 10th Fl.  Part of West's Trial Practice series, this annual edition includes discussion of strategies and techniques of a convincing closing statement, examining such issues as timing, references, handling objections, instructions, and rebuttals.  Available online via Westlaw.