Opening Statement Law and Legal Definition
An opening statement is the introduction to the case by the attorneys for both sides at the beginning of the trial, explaining will be proved during the trial. Unlike a "closing argument," the opening statement is supposed to be a factual presentation and not an argument. The opening is limited to what the evidence will show. It cannot be argumentative. The defendant's attorney may present the opening statement for the defense after the plaintiff's evidence has been introduced.
A good opening statement paves the way for a successful trial. It represents the attorney's first opportunity to persuade the jury in the client's favor. A trial attorney should develop the entire case during the opening and show that the evidence will prove that his or her client should win the case.