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OPENING STATEMENTS - MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges
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OPENING STATEMENTS

From MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges

A. General Guidance

What if counsel didn't produce evidence he/she said he/she would?

There is no error as long as he/she intended to permissibly offer the evidence he/she mentioned in good faith but was prevented from doing so for some other reason.[1]

What if counsel presents an argument in his/her opening statement?

Argument is strongly frowned upon in opening statements.[2]

What if counsel appeals to the jury?

It is improper for counsel to invite jurors to put themselves in the shoes of the defendant/witness/victim.[3]


  1. See Tucker v. State, 245 N.W.2d 199 (Minn. 1976).
  2. See State v. Bauer, 249 N.W. 40 (Minn. 1933); State v. White, 203 N.W.2d 852 (Minn. 1973); United States v. Dinitz, 424 U.S. 600 (1976).
  3. See State v. Taylor, 365 N.W.2d 368 (Minn. Ct. App. 1985); State v. Rose, 353 N.W.2d 565 (Minn. Ct. App. 1984).