Summation Law and Legal Definition

A summation is the final or closing argument in a court case. A summation may be made by a judge, or by the attorneys for the parties to the case. Summation is also referred to as summing up. When the judge delivers his charge to the jury, he is also said to sum up the evidence in the case.

In a summation, the attorneys review the evidence that has been presented and attempt to persuade the trier of fact why it should have them prevail in the case. The party with the burden of proof gives their summation last. In a civil case, the defendant will give a summation first and in a criminal case, the defendant's summation will be last.