Episode #220 - Opening Statements Part 1 - What Not To Do

Part 1 of 2

In the first of a two-part episode, Bill Kanasky, Jr., Ph.D. talks about opening statements and what not to do in your opening statement. First, Bill explains the primary reasons why opening statements fail: 

1) Attorneys don't get formal training on how to construct an opening statement;

2) Attorneys don't have an understanding of how the juror brain processes information;

3) The games our minds play on us;

4) Many attorneys have less experience and opportunity to do opening statements because fewer cases go to trial. 

Bill shares what not to do in your opening statement:

- Do not introduce yourself to the jury; 

- Don't thank the jury for their civic duty;

- Don't start your opening with a corny story or a joke; 

- Don't discuss the role of the jurors;  

- Don't go on too long;  

- Don't read your opening statement from a legal pad or a tablet;  

- Don't go on the defensive.

In part 2, Bill will discuss what you should do in your opening statement.