Deciding which points are the most important to prove the
elements of the case and to make sure that proof takes place.
Telling clearly what they intend to prove in the opening statement
and arguing effectively in their closing argument that the facts
and evidence presented prove their cases.
Introducing documentary or physical evidence.
Following the formality of the court, e.g., standing up when the
judge enters or when addressing the judge, calling the judge "Your
Phrasing questions on direct examination that are not leading.
(Carefully review the rules of evidence and watch for this type of
questioning in practice sessions).
Refraining from asking so many questions on cross-examination that
well-made points are lost. When a witness has been contradicted or
otherwise discredited, student attorneys tend to ask additional
questions, which often lessens the impact of points previously
made. Pointless questions should be avoided! Questions should
require answers that will make only good points for the side.
Thinking quickly on their feet when a witness gives an unexpected
answer, an attorney asks unexpected questions or makes unexpected
objections, or a judge throws questions at the attorney or
Refraining for reading opening and closing statements.
©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association