Arguments in Closing Verdicts

In my ongoing series identifying defense tactics that may defeat a Plaintiff's right to receive compensation for his or her injuries, defense verdicts have been overturned for improper argument of defense attorneys in closing arguments.

In particular, the defense attorney cannot make a generalized statement that would imply that the Plaintiff's case, like other cases, are responsible for "over-crowded courtrooms". Courts have held that this kind of argument by defense attorneys are an attempt to "appeal to the conscience of the community and matters far afield from the evidence admitted in the case". Those sorts of arguments, as well as personal opinions of the defense attorney, have been held to be reversible errors and a violation of the rules regulating the Florida Bar with respect to the "fairness of opposing parties and counsel".

The Florida Bar Rule, in summary, states that an attorney cannot give his own opinion as to whether a particular cause is just or not, whether a witness is credible and in general cannot make reference to something that the lawyer doesn't really believe is relevant in the case or is not supported by the evidence. As such, a Plaintiff's attorney hearing such comments would immediately object, keeping those matters from the jury, or at the very least, ask the judge to educate the jury on why those matters should not be taken into consideration by them.

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