Opening and Closing Arguments

Courts traditionally limit the time for opening and closing arguments, for obvious reasons. The general idea is to establish a structure within which counsel can present their case to the jury. How­ever, courts do not limit the facts or arguments that counsel may present. Counsel make decisions as to what will be most persuasive to the jury. The court establishes a structure that permits the ad­versaries to marshal their best arguments and also forces them to set priorities.

In summary, courts have used traditional and innovative techniques to streamline the structure in which asbestos cases are tried to a jury. Courts report that these procedures serve to expedite the trial of asbestos cases without placing undue restrictions on the ability of counsel to present their clients’ cases.