Opening Statements for Jury Trials

June 16th, 2022

What is a mini opening statement in a jury trial? Mini opening statements are a relatively new development. It gives your lawyer a small time window (30 seconds to 2 minutes). During that opening statement, a reasonable attorney can do several things to achieve your ultimate goal in a jury trial.

This blog post will explain what this type of opening statement does, why the courts have chosen to adopt them, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Mini Opening Statement History

Before 2019, the judge would read a statement to the jury. The judge’s statement was neutral to either side. It was typically two or three sentences long and would only give the basic premise of the case.

In 2019, the CCP 222.5B legislature established that judges are not required to allow both sides to give their case statements. This is what we call the mini opening statement.

In a jury trial, the attorneys for both sides have the opportunity to give a short statement to the jury. Their statements should be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes in length. This mini statement is presented before asking the jury questions to help the attorneys filter the jury.

How Your Lawyer Can Use a Mini Opening Statement to Your Advantage

How can you best deploy a mini opening statement in your case?

The goal of any trial lawyer is to find out who the bad jurors are. These are the biased jurors who can negatively impact your outcome. There are always people who don’t believe in awarding money for pain and suffering. Some people have a fundamental bias against your case type, whether it’s a construction site accident, a slip and fall, or a car crash.

Mini opening statements can pinpoint who those jurors are so that you can eliminate them and set the best jurors for your type of case. Watch the video below to learn more about conducting an effective mini-opening statement.

If you have questions about your type of case, give us a call or contact us through our website.