Card image cap

May It Please the Court... and the Jury: Tips for Giving Memorable Openings and Closings

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: January 30, 2018
Click here to share this program
Printer-Friendly Version


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • "Conventional Wisdom" on opening statements and closing arguments
  • 5 Tips for Engaging Opening Statements
  • 10 Tips for Effective opening and closing arguments
  • Getting the best results
  • Practical advice
  • The Trial Lawyer: What it takes to win
  • Closing arguments in complex cases
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: January 30, 2018


Learn how to win over a jury at the opening and at the closing.

The faculty will examine best practices for openings and closings and examine whether conventional wisdom really is the right way to go. The panel will discuss starting a trial with an opening that captures the judge or jury’s attention and interests them in your theory of the case. They will also explain how to deliver a closing argument that pulls together the law and facts from the trial into a winning combination.

This program was recorded on January 30th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association
Card image cap


Card image cap

Carolyn P. Short

Reed Smith

Carolyn is a member of the Complex Litigation Group and is co-leader of the Business & Corporate Disputes team. She is a trial lawyer focusing on commercial and employment disputes. Carolyn was declared by American Lawyer Media to be one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in Pennsylvania and was described in that article as "one of the most feared civil defense lawyers, especially in employment law." She was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the most sought-after civil defense lawyers in Philadelphia.

Not only is Carolyn a skilled trial lawyer with a national practice, but she also is a master strategist working closely with in-house counsel on their most important matters, including class action litigation, corporate governance issues, high-level executive investigations and management, and gearing the legal departments towards a goal of bottom-line business support. She serves as the relationship partner for multiple publicly-traded multi-national corporations and is known for having a deep understanding of the business and the culture of her clients in order to design the best legal result. Many of her client relationships span more than 25 years.

Her substantive experience includes defending federal and state class action matters, antitrust, employment discrimination, securities fraud, and medical device cases, as well as various commercial matters. Carolyn also has extensive experience in the defense of civil rights cases, and is a principle guide for her clients in navigating the legal compliance world of government contracting.

She is frequently consulted for her expertise on various aspects of complex litigation, from jury selection techniques to cross-examination and effectiveness in closing arguments, and asked to help guide other lawyers to best represent the interests of their clients.

In recognition of her distinguished record as a trial lawyer, advocate, and advisor, she has been called upon by high state officials to handle and try sensitive and high-profile cases.

In January 2005, senior Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter asked Carolyn to serve as general counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Specter was chairman for the Supreme Court nominations hearings of both Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito. She returned to Reed Smith in March 2006.

Card image cap

Judge Marilyn Heffley

Magistrate Judge
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Judge Marilyn Heffley, originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh where she was honored as a Marshall Scholar and University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Scholar.

Judge Heffley received her J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 1984.

The majority of Judge Heffley’s legal career was spent at Reed Smith LLP (September 1985 to October 2005 and May 2011 to April 2014) as a litigator representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of civil litigation, including commercial, consumer lending, financial services, insurance, labor and employment, environmental, oil and gas, product liability and toxic tort matters. From November 2005 to May 2011, Judge Heffley served as Sunoco, Inc.’s Assistant General Counsel and Head of Litigation. At Sunoco, she founded the Litigation Group within the company’s legal department and managed its nationwide portfolio of litigation and records management

Card image cap

Anne Marie Seibel

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Anne Marie Seibel enjoys pulling together the moving parts in multi-forum or multi-plaintiff high-stakes litigation. In these cases, she partners with her clients to approach the challenges of litigation in efficient and creative ways. Currently, she is using these skills to help a major facilitator of online travel reservations respond to cases across the country. In 2017, she served as lead trial counsel for this client in a two-week trial. In prior litigation she played a central role advising HealthSouth Corporation as it defended and prosecuted claims relating to a massive accounting fraud perpetrated against it by corporate officers. That litigation resulted in a $2.8 billion verdict against the company’s former CEO and a $100 million settlement with the company’s former investment bank. Anne Marie’s practice has taken her to trial in venues as diverse as Alabama state and federal courts, New Hampshire state court, AAA arbitrations, and the Tribal Court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Within the firm, Anne Marie is a founder of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and is former Chair of the firm’s Associate Committee.

Nationally, Anne Marie serves in ABA Section of Litigation leadership as a member of both the Professional Development and Membership and Marketing Committees. She formerly served as co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Regional Meeting Committee, the Section’s liaison to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and co-chair of the Section of Litigation’s Woman Advocate Committee.

Card image cap

Similar Courses

Card image cap
76 minutes
360-Degree of Investigation - A Roundtable Discussion Regarding Investigations of Debtors and Recovery of Assets
This panel of lawyers and insolvency professionals with bankruptcy expertise will lead a roundtable discussion regarding investigation of debtors and recovering assets to enhance the value of a bankruptcy estate.

American Bankruptcy Institute


Add to Cart
Card image cap
77 minutes
A Catch-22: Dilemmas for Landlords in the Era of COVID-19
This panel will explore the myriad legal conundrums landlords have been facing in bankruptcy cases across the country since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Discussion points will include landlord rights to assumption/rejection and timing, the ability of debtors to defer rent payments to landlords for lengthy periods of time, and the impact of force majeure clauses in these disputes.

American Bankruptcy Institute


Add to Cart
Card image cap
56 minutes
A Comprehensive Guide on SPAC Litigation and Enforcement: Hot Buttons Explored
Join securities law expert Adrienna Huffman (The Brattle Group) as she brings the audience a comprehensive discussion of recent SPAC-related acquisitions.We will delve into an in-depth analysis of the current trends, litigatio nrisks, and provide practical compliance strategies for transitioning private companies amidst a rapidly evolving legal climate.

The Knowledge Group


Add to Cart
Card image cap
59 minutes
A New Decade of eDiscovery: Fundamental Shifts in Big Data, Case Law, and In-House Demands
Join us as we bring some of the brightest legal experts and tech gurus together for a discussion on eDiscovery trends of the new decade.



Add to Cart
Previous Next