10.10 Closing Statement

The closing statement is where the meat of your argument will be. You want to show that your facts supported your evidence and the law supports your order.  Refer to your Case Building Worksheet from Chapter 7 to help you write your closing statement. It’s helpful to refresh your memory on what the law says, what you want to prove and how you are going to prove it.

The closing argument is not another chance to give evidence. You may only refer to points on which evidence has already been given.

Here are the steps you want to take for your closing:

  • Summarize the law –Very briefly state the law you are relying on and any case law you are using to support your claim. Highlight the points you are trying to prove off your Case Building Worksheet.
  • Summarize your evidence and how it relates to the law – Make reference to the evidence you presented to the court such as witness statements or documents that show the points you are trying to prove.
  • Address any arguments by the other party- If you can show how their points do not apply to you, do so.  

Lawyer’s Tip:

Even though you have drafted a closing statement, be flexible. Evidence can arise at court you weren’t expecting, you may need to edit your closing statement as the trial goes on.

  • Conclude- Restating the order you seek.

It’s a good idea to submit your closing statement in written form. Ask the judge if you would be allowed to submit your written closing statement to them so they can follow along as you present it. A judge doesn’t need to accept your written closing statement, so ask to see if they will. If they do accept it make sure all key elements of your legal argument are included.

Fill in the Closing Statement Worksheet to help you prepare but be sure to fill it in with more detail during your trial.