Defendant's Opening Statement
May it please the court.
It was a peaceful Saturday morning in April. Just last spring. In Shamrock University Law School's classroom building. Our hallways were quiet and our classrooms were almost empty. And then, in a student courtroom, something happened that astonished everyone. The plaintiff, Judge John Birdsong, pointed a .357 magnum pistol near his leg, pulled the trigger, not once, but, twice, to see if the gun was loaded, and shot himself in the left leg. He now comes before you, asking for an award of money against Shamrock for the injuries that he inflicted by his own hand.
This trial will be conducted in two stages. In this first stage your job is to determine who is responsible for Judge Birdsong's injury. The second stage of this trial, if one is necessary, will deal with the alleged damages.
Before I explain what happened, let me tell you a little bit about my client.
Shamrock University School of Law is located right here in town, just a few miles south of this courthouse. They have been teaching young people how to become competent, ethical lawyers for over eighty years. We pride ourselves on our ability to train outstanding lawyers. To teach the students how to effectively represent their clients and our society. We are especially proud of the trial advocacy program, where we teach law students to be trial lawyers. You will hear that under the leadership of Dean McMurry, the trial advocacy program of this school is one of the top 5 in the nation. Dean McMurry will explain that as part of the trial advocacy class each student participates in mock trials. They try realistic lawsuits in a realistic setting. In order to provide this realism, the Dean invited experienced local attorneys to...