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Intentionally Exposing a Weakness in the Opening Argument

There will be instances when your lawyer could voluntarily expose a key weakness in your medical malpractice case in his opening arguments. This may sound quite shocking to you, since you would have thought your lawyer will start building a strong foundation for your case right from the start. Willingly presenting a weakness to the jury in the opening arguments might not seem right.

Your Lawyer wants to be the First to Tell the Jury

However, your lawyer has a valid reason for doing this. The lawyer wants to be straight with the jury, and wants the jurors to recognize immediately that there is a problem with your side of the case. Your lawyer would not want this information to come out, when the defense attorney gets up for the very first time, and tells the jury that the plaintiff's lawyer has forgotten to mention something extremely important.

If the defense lawyer is the first to tell the jury this important bit of information that is a weakness in your case then it is going to have much more damaging effect than if your lawyer had mentioned it to the jury. If the jury hears this from the defense attorney first, then you and your lawyer would have lost credibility in the eyes of the jury.

This is why; the plaintiff lawyer will often mention a key weakness in his client's case, because he wants to be the first one to mention it to the jury. This way, the lawyer has the opportunity to explain the whole thing to the jury. Deflecting or ignoring this point would be the worst thing to do. Instead, the plaintiff's lawyer will have to attack it head on.

Example of How a Lawyer would Gain Credibility and Trust of the Jury

The plaintiff's lawyer, in his opening argument, might tell the jury something like this:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I have to share with you something very important that might affect how you view this case. My client was convicted of a crime that he did twenty years ago, and he was in jail for ten of those years. You may be asking yourself, what that has to do with the medical malpractice that he is claiming against the doctor.

The reality is that it has nothing to do with it, but I wanted to tell you the information now, and did not want this information to come out later on, from the defense because I wanted to share it with you right up front, and tell you that my client's prison sentence has nothing to do with the case.

In fact, my client is going to get up on the witness stand and he is going to admit to the fact that he was arrested and convicted of a crime twenty years ago. Even though the crime of my client was horrendous, I ask you all to keep this information aside, as that has nothing to do with the violations of basic standards of care by the doctor who treated my client. Hence, you will have to evaluate the care and treatment given by the doctor and not focus on the fact that my client was convicted of a crime twenty years ago."

Hence, by revealing a weak point in your case at the start, your lawyer will gain credibility and earn the trust of the jury, which is vital for your case.

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