A closing statement, also known as a closing argument, is an oral statement made by an attorney after all of the facts of a court case have been presented, explains the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The purpose of a closing statement is to persuade the jury to view the case in one party's favor.
Attorneys are generally not permitted to persuade a jury on the significance of a piece of evidence or a relevant fact until after all of the evidence has been presented by both parties, according to USCourts.gov. The closing statement provides the opportunity for each party to discuss how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together in its favor.
However, the American Bar Association states that attorneys cannot talk about evidence that was not presented during trial or issues that are outside of the case. Attorneys might remind the jurors of certain key pieces of evidence and make an argument about their significance. During closing statements, attorneys are permitted to use hypothetical analogies and discuss the credibility of witnesses. This is the last opportunity each party has to advocate their position.
The attorney for the plaintiff or government offers a closing statement first, summing up the facts and evidence in a light favorable to their position, explains the ABA. The defense attorney then presents its closing statement, often pointing out defects in the other party's argument.