Delaware Trial Handbook § 7:1. PURPOSE OF THE OPENING STATEMENT

The purpose of the opening statement is to inform the jury of the nature of the case, the claims of the parties and the evidence expected to be produced in support of or in opposition to the respective claims of the parties so as to enable the jury to understand the case and appreciate the significance of the evidence when it is presented.

The opening statement permits the lawyer to present a cohesive statement of the case before evidence comes in piecemeal through various witnesses and documents. This may be particularly important for the defendant, from whom the jury will not hear until after the plaintiff’s case is presented.

© 2010 David L. Finger