Court trials are structured in segments, opening statements, examinations, and closing arguments. Within this segment, the opening statement is by far the most important part of the case. They are believed to be the window through the jury gets a grasp of the evidence at hand.
Opening statements are meant to establish the overall context of the evidence they will hear during the case trial. That is why it is highly important to make your statement stand out.
Here are 6 reasons why the opening statement is the most crucial part of a case trial.
Framework Reveals the Important Information
Psychologically, people like to view information as a coherent framework rather than tiny bits of data. Once the jurors hear the facts, they will start to connect the dots to build the picture of the events in the trial. That is why it is highly important to build the proper framework that they can use to determine your side of the argument.
The Truth Starts in the Opening Statement
When the trail begins, the jury will determine who is lying and at fault as well as who is telling the truth. The initial statement is when they come to terms with their conclusions. This makes it the best opportunity to argue about your position.
Jury Often Decides Before the Closing Argument
Research shows that over 80% of jurors often make their decisions after hearing the opening statements from both sides. While this might seem a bit strange of unfair, it is often true. How both parties portray their argument will be the foundation of the entire case.
Highest Level of Attention
Unless the witness is well-known or appealing to the public, the jurors’ and judge’s attention level will be fresh and at their highest during this time. This gives you the perfect opportunity to tell your story and grab their attention with compelling evidence and demonstration. How you portray your opening statement will provide the best chance to tell your side and make an impression.
Opening Statements Involve Emotions
Just as it is with marketing, the opening statement involves emotions that matter. Humans buy into emotions just as they do with facts. During the trial, they will use those means to decide who is the most emotional in the opening and spend the rest of the trial hearing determining whether their emotions are justified with the facts.
Humans Want Someone to Root For
People want to pick someone they can root for early on. Have you ever picked a favorite team early in the game or afterward? Do you watch sporting events with teams you hardly know a thing about? The same goes for case trials.
Cases are often pre-determined as they are either win or lose after the opening statements. Therefore, it is important to give your best and use all of your resources into the opening statement.