Dr. Manges PhD | Forensic Psychologist

Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda

Jury Trial Tips: Closing Arguments

When it comes time for closing arguments, the jurors will have spent the course of the trial forming impressions and opinions about the evidence and your story. It is important that you remain consistent with your story; for your closing argument is a culmination of what has transpired. Hopefully, your story will have created an outline for which the jury can use to connect-the-dots, with the last dot being a favorable verdict.

Fundamentals in developing your closing argument:

  • Be honest, sincere, and have unwavering belief in yourself, your client, and your cause.
  • Start with your strongest point
  • Share your opinion when giving a synopsis of the case
  • Remain focused
  • Get into a persuasive flow
  • Prepare for opposing counsel’s summation
  • Be confident, direct, and persuasive
  • Give jurors guidance

Depending on your jury, you can use various techniques to make points in your closing arguments:

  • Analogies
  • Stories, fairy tales, and fables
  • Rhetorical questions
  • Climax v. anticlimax
  • Promissory note
  • Visual aids/imagery
  • Common sense maxims
  • Patriotic references
  • Religion

In every closing statement, remember:

  • Everyone likes to be taught
  • Primacy
  • Repetition
  • Recency
  • Facing weakness
  • Use word pictures
  • Emotion
  • Show respect and appreciation to the jury
  • Discuss money

For References used in this fact sheet, please contact Dr. Manges and Associates, Inc. at 513.784.1333.

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Dr. Kenneth Manges, is a Forensic Psychologist and vocational expert who offers consultation and comprehensive evaluations across the United States. His analyses have been recognized for their clarity and scientific rigor. He offers reasonably certain opinions about the psychological impact of physical injury or emotional trauma as they effect earning capacity and the impact of loss on future work and quality of life.  Well regarded in the litigation arena, he is a trusted and respected authority and offers evaluations that have been consistently upheld in both state and federal courts.