Everyone has their own style of how to practice and there are countless articles, books, etc. on how to give a proper summation. Truth is that there is just no one way. Who knows if the summation is what worked or not? Maybe the case was won or lost before you even gave your opening? There is just no way to really know unless you are in one of those jurisdictions where someone gets to speak to the jury after the trial. In my opinion, your summation should be drafted well in advance of you giving your opening. I know this is foreign for some attorneys but it has served me well. Of course, the summation will be edited as the trial move forward. However, I have found that having most of the trial scripted ahead of time allows me to have a very relaxed approach as I don’t have to worry about what to say at any given time. I can concentrate more on listening to the testimony and thinking creatively about how to adapt my strategy as unexpected issues arise. For me at least, my track record shows that this is a sound strategy.


Just like with the opening statement, the summation should be hard hitting right out of the box. Tear apart the State’s case and go through each witness. Explain how the State failed to prove its case and why the witnesses actually support the defense’s case. I like to explain why we got here to begin with which is usually a haphazard investigation that focused solely on the defendant’s guilty instead of what really happened. The State will have likely left a lot of stones unturned and its the defense’s job to expose them all. The jury instructions should also be explained but only those that focus on the defense’s theme, I.e reasonable doubt and the element or elements of the crime you are attacking. Remind the jury about your laser like focus on the issues that create reasonable doubt and how the State danced around those issues by wasting our time with various nonsense that does not prove anything.

NY Child Pornography Attorney

Posted on May 11, 2013, in Trial and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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