How do you come up with a theme for an opening statement?

How do you come up with a theme for an opening statement?

Opening Statement Checklist

  1. State your theme immediately in one sentence.
  2. Tell the story of the case without argument.
  3. Persuasively order your facts in a sequence that supports your theme.
  4. Decide whether to address the bad facts in the opening or not.
  5. Do not read your opening statement.
  6. Bring an outline, if necessary.

How do you write an opening statement for a mock trial prosecution?


  1. THE INTRODUCTION. Good afternoon, my name is so-and-so, and it is my pleasure to represent the State of Columbus and to serve as a prosecutor on this very important case.
  4. Examples:
  5. Anticipate the defense theories:

What is a theme in an opening statement?

Your theme is the glue that holds the facts and legal theory together. In opening statements, start with your theme and attach all the facts and your theory to that theme. Picking the right theme—one that is consistent with your case and is persuasive to the jurors—is difficult.

What is a good opening statement?

An effective opening statement is built around a theme that can be summed up in a simple word or phrase or in a single sentence. The theme developed should be straightforward, clear, and designed to catch and hold the jury’s attention. It should get directly to the heart of the dispute.

What is a prosecution opening statement?

An opening statement is an opportunity to outline the case for the jury, and to let the jury know what to expect. It is not an opportunity to argue your case. So an opening statement is an opportunity to let the jurors know what the case is about, and to let them know what evidence they should expect.

How long is an opening statement?

Most opening statements take between 10 and 45 minutes, although, depending on the complexity of the case, some may take longer. Some jurisdictions have developed rules for how long opening statements, as well as closing statements, may be. Other jurisdictions leave such time limitations to the judge’s discretion.

How do you write a good opening sentence?

Examples of Great First Sentences (And How They Did It)

  1. Revealing Personal Information. “School was hard for me, for lots of reasons.” –
  2. Mirroring the Reader’s Pain.
  3. Asking the Reader a Question.
  4. Shock the Reader.
  5. Intrigue the Reader.
  6. Lead with a Bold Claim.
  7. Be Empathetic and Honest.
  8. Invite the Reader In.

What makes an opening statement effective in a criminal case?

Themes and storytelling are what make opening statements engaging and effective. The story of the case tells the jury what happened chronologically either from the viewpoint of the plaintiff or defendant.

How to write an opening statement for a case?

Save the big words and the pomp and circumstance. Have a single sentence theme. If you can’t find a single sentence to summarize your case, you are not trying hard enough. You need to be able to distill a case, even a complex case, down to one sentence.

Do You give Your opening statement first as a prosecutor?

[As a prosecutor, you will give your opening statement first. So a good opening statement anticipates the points that the defense attorney will make in their opening statement.

What should be the theme of the opening statement?

Signing up is easy and grants you member-only access to the latest news, information, and thinking on litigation strategy. Lawyers should have a one-sentence theme for their cases. Emotionally based themes often serve as anchors, creating impressions for the jury that linger until the time the verdict is decided.