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Legal Ethics/opening statements


I am wondering what is the purpose of opening statements? Why are you explaining to the jury 'we intend to prove such and such'?

Why don't you just get on with it and prove your case? Seems to me to be a waste of time and taxpayer money.

I am an extremely inpatient person at times but still it seems like a waste of time. Just go ahead and prove what you're going to and be done with it all! At least in my opinion.

thanks for your time,


I understand your point of view.  The opening is supposed to inform the jury as to the facts of the case.

Studies have shown that the jurors decide the case by the end of opening statements and then looks for facts to support those preliminary decisions.  If that is the case, and my experience supports those studies, the opening statement is important to persuade the jury based on the facts which the party's intend to utilize through the trial.

Very truly yours,

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.

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Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.


I have been a practicing civil trial attorney since 1989 and have a master's degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy in comparative ethics of law, medicine and business.

I am Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and am Certified as a Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization.

I can answer questions dealing with general ethics principles, including legal ethics, medical ethics, bioethics and business ethics. I do not give legal advice over the internet.

For more information, you can view my website at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM


Experience in the area
I have been a practicing trial attorney since 1989 and I have a masters degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy regarding comparative ethics.

Organizations belong to
State Bar of Arizona
State Bar of Colorado (inactive)
District of Columbia Bar (inactive)
Federal Bar
Licensed in Arizona District Court
Licensed in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Licensed in the United States Supreme Court
American Bar Association
National Board of Trial Advocacy
American Association for Justice
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
National Association of Realtors

Bachelor of Arts 1985
Juris Doctorate 1989
Master of Arts in Bioethics 2004
Doctorate of Philosphy 2006

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa
Multiple Who's Who

A list of my copyrighted publications and presentations is contained at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM

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