Defendant's Opening Statement Essay

1275 words - 5 pages

Defendant's Opening StatementMay it please the court.It was a peaceful Saturday morning in April. Just last spring. In Shamrock University Law School's classroom building. Our hallways were quiet and our classrooms were almost empty. And then, in a student courtroom, something happened that astonished everyone. The plaintiff, Judge John Birdsong, pointed a .357 magnum pistol near his leg, pulled the trigger, not once, but, twice, to see if the gun was loaded, and shot himself in the left leg. He now comes before you, asking for an award of money against Shamrock for the injuries that he inflicted by his own hand.This trial will be conducted in two stages. In this first stage your job is to determine who is responsible for Judge Birdsong's injury. The second stage of this trial, if one is necessary, will deal with the alleged damages.Before I explain what happened, let me tell you a little bit about my client. Shamrock University School of Law is located right here in town, just a few miles south of this courthouse. They have been teaching young people how to become competent, ethical lawyers for over eighty years. We pride ourselves on our ability to train outstanding lawyers. To teach the students how to effectively represent their clients and our society. We are especially proud of the trial advocacy program, where we teach law students to be trial lawyers. You will hear that under the leadership of Dean McMurry, the trial advocacy program of this school is one of the top 5 in the nation. Dean McMurry will explain that as part of the trial advocacy class each student participates in mock trials. They try realistic lawsuits in a realistic setting. In order to provide this realism, the Dean invited experienced local attorneys to teach the classes and invited some local judges to preside over the mock trials. And that is why Judge Birdsong was in our courtroom that April morning. You see, he wasn't actually invited to participate. Judge Birdsong was a family judge and most of the student trials were criminal cases. But Judge Birdsong did call Dean McMurry and ask if he could judge a few trials, and the dean agreed. As Dean McMurry will tell you, you don't say "no" to a judge. Let me tell you what happened that morning.Judge Birdsong arrives at the law school Saturday morning. He goes to a courtroom much like this one, though it isn't a real courtroom. There are students sitting at counsel tables, playing the role of lawyers. Another student is on the witness stand. There is a student bailiff, and even students playing the role of jurors. And Judge Birdsong is presiding, somewhat like Judge ____ is today. During the trial a student prosecutor offers a gun into evidence. Judge Birdsong directs the student bailiff to inspect the gun to make sure it isn't loaded. She says she doesn't know how, and Judge Birdsong sees that she is embarrassed. And that the other students are laughing at her. The judge asks for the gun. Even though he knew nothing about...

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