On Demand Audio

Crafting a Compelling Narrative: The Art of Effective Opening and Closing Statements

(246 reviews)

Produced on September 23, 2017

Taught by
$ 79 Litigation In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 15m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Litigation

Course Description

Effective opening and closing statements convey the theme of a case in the form of a gripping, interesting story. The attorneys become the stars of the show, selling their stories to the jury, hoping to strike a chord and sway an opinion. An opening is the first impression for the jury to absorb and evaluate the facts of a case. It's the golden opportunity to begin persuading jurors towards the narrative of your side. It's a time for creativity, drama, storytelling and persuasion.

Closing statements provide attorneys with a chance to tie all the ends of the testimony and evidence together, forming a cohesive argument as to why their side should win. It's what television and movies are made of—the chance to show off your skills of oration and persuasion in a winner-take-all contest. This program, presented by Jeffrey M. Kimmel of Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP, provides strategic options, legal pitfalls and practical tips for opening and closing statements.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Understand the purpose and power of effective opening and closing statements
  2. Identify and embrace your own of style of speaking to the jury
  3. Utilize all your senses to gauge how jurors perceive your performance
  4. Provide practical guidance to performing persuasive presentations

This course originally appeared as a part of our September 2017 Bridge the Gap Event.

Credit Information

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Jeffrey M. Kimmel

Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP

Jeffrey M. Kimmel is a partner in the Manhattan firm of Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP. He is a proven, experienced trial attorney, successfully trying numerous complex personal injury and medical malpractice cases to verdict during his career. Mr. Kimmel has earned the highest ranking among attorneys by Martindale-Hubbell's Peer Review Ratings Service and was selected as one of New York City's "Ten Leaders" in Civil Trial and Personal Injury Law. He has been named to the prestigious Best Lawyers and New York Super Lawyers list in the personal injury and medical malpractice areas. Mr. Kimmel previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County. He is a frequent lecturer on trial preparation, trial strategy and courtroom techniques. He has lectured to attorneys at Bar Associations as well as to students at local law schools, colleges and high schools. He serves as judge at Yale University's Mock Trial competition annually. Mr. Kimmel has also appeared on television as a legal analyst.

Mr. Kimmel served on the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers' Association and was chair of its Committee on Committees which oversaw approximately 50 committees and sections. He is a former member of the Medical Malpractice Committee of The New York City Bar. Mr. Kimmel is currently a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, New York State Bar Association, The New York City Bar and New York County Lawyers Association. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Council to the Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee, Inc.

Mr. Kimmel graduated from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree and Brooklyn Law School, where he received the school's coveted American Jurisprudence Awards in Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy. Active in Brooklyn Law School's Moot Court program, he was selected to the distinguished National Team. Mr. Kimmel is admitted to the Bar in New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia and the United States Federal Courts.


Theodor S.

entertaining and informative

Louise B.

entertaining and informative

Patricia T.

Good insight about practical approaches to opening and overall trial strategy.

William K.

Excellent speaker

Allen H.

Very engaging presentation.

Harry C.

very useful

Michael B.

Thank you.

Stephen N.

This was an excellent presentation. Would be even better if it was split into several parts over several courses.

Hwesu M.


Peter Z.

A good collection of tips

John G.

This guy knows his stuff. Worthwhile program especially for young trial lawyers.

anne c.

Excellent. Fun!

Olabisi H.

Fantastic. Best speaker ever. Very engaging. I have to listen to this again. Simple and extremely informative.

Amy H.

great speaker

Alex M.

A truly gifted speaker, with a lot of of very useful information to offer.

Kevin K.

Great Course and great lecturer. He should do more lectures.

Regina M.

Very well done!

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