Goal: The goal is to create a logically organized argument summarizing the evidence and the law that supports a verdict in your favor. This is your opportunity to create a persuasive argument to convince the trier of fact to adopt your position and rule in your favor. (I have provided the ABA guide on effective closing statements.)
Grading: This assignment is worth 15 points which is 15% of your final grade. You will
receive individualized feedback in the form of written comments and a rubric.
The breakdown of the grading will be as follows:
Substantive Content: 75%
Organization & Format: 25%
Prepare a written closing argument that clearly summarizes the evidence you have
presented (or anticipate being presented) at trial and the law favoring your client’s case. This is your chance to persuade the trier of fact that your position is the stronger of the two positions presented at trial. Your argument is confined to the evidence that was presented at trial in that you cannot offer new evidence or reference evidence that was not accepted by the court at trial. You should explain weaknesses in your opponent’s argument while emphasizing strengths of your own case. Common sense arguments are frequently presented to paint a coherent picture of the evidence presented. As with the opening statement, it is improper to express your personal beliefs regarding the merits of the case which includes your personal view on the credibility of individual witnesses. You want to convince the trier of fact that both the law and the facts support a verdict in favor of your client. Your closing argument must be in support of the same party you chose to represent in the opening statement.
Length: Your closing argument should be 4-6 pages in length. The 6 page maximum will be enforced.
Format: The closing argument should be in Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins with page numbers at the bottom center of each page.
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