In Alison Braks v Dundeal Canada (GP) Inc., 2022 ONSC 4015, Justice Ramsay sets out key points for counsel to remember when delivering their opening and closing addresses to a jury. These tips include:
- An opening should provide a general notion of what will be given in evidence. It should not mention matters that will not become evidence before the jury. A witness’s credibility should not be dealt with in an opening.
Counsel may not suggest a matter which counsel knows is not proven even if supporting evidence is adduced.
Counsel may not give evidence.
Counsel may not suggest that evidence does not exist or that evidence has been excluded.
Counsel may not express personal opinions.
- Counsel should not refer to inadmissible evidence or evidence that requires a ruling.
- Do not misstate evidence.
- Do not refer to facts or evidence that were not proven at trial.
- Do not invite the jury to consider irrelevant matters.
- Do not provide unfair comment on the evidence.
- Do not invite the jury to consider matters beyond the evidence provided at trial.
- Do not misstate the law.