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In the Beginning…:

Psychologists and consultants examine all kinds of human behavior and the courtroom is no exception. In psychology, I recall learning the concept of primacy and recency. Essentially that means what people hear first and last are of greatest significance. As a result, I was not completely surprised when I learned more than 20 years ago that opening statements are incredibly important and influence to a large extent what a jury will do. I have even heard it said that juries make up their minds on the opening statement.

It is very hard to know the accuracy of what is said in the above paragraph. But I do feel that the opening statement must lay out the personal injury case in a clear and specific fashion. After all, if you cannot clearly explain your case, no matter how complex the underlying issues, how can a jury be expected to master the relevant facts? That is a good guideline actually for the entire handling of the personal injury case; there must be a coherent theme to explain the accident. It is a theme that should be based on the facts and the reasonable inferences of the facts.

In light of the above, I can understand why it is said that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

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