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Strength Through Structure: Constructing Winning Closing Arguments With Classical Form
By Jaime Escuder
Form: Hallmark of the Enduring
When asked to explain the role that form plays in his compositions,
classical guitarist and composer David Leisner said: “Form is very
important to me because I feel that if you hang the content of what you
have to say on some kind of form, whether it is an established form like
a sonata, or a new form, or a form that you may not quite be able to
articulate, but can sense tangibly, then your piece is more enduring.”1
Similarly, lawyers can rely upon form to help their arguments endure.
After all, a winning argument is one that persists in the minds of the
jurors during their deliberations; it is the one that sympathetic jurors
repeatedly invoke when other jurors consider the merits of the
opponent’s position.2 By delivering their points in a logical
structure, lawyers assist sympathetic jurors by providing them with
arguments that are memorable, logical, and easy to articulate.
Nonetheless, many trial lawyers deliver formless argum
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