Compelling Closing Arguments — The Advocates’ Society

Dates: February 16, 2022 - February 17, 2022

Location: Calgary

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The closing argument is when great advocates shine. It is an opportunity to tie the facts, law and evidence together in a way that paves the way for the decision-maker to decide in your favour.

This essential new program will teach you how to deliver credible, powerful and compelling closing arguments with skill and confidence. Judges and leading litigators from across Canada will share their top tips for delivering persuasive closings, both orally and in writing.

The plenary program will be held on Feb. 16 and the learning-by-doing skills workshop will be held on Feb. 17. There are two registration options: (one) plenary + workshop or (two) plenary only (see below for more information).

Plenary Details | Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (MT)

The plenary session will feature presentations and demonstrations by judges and leading practitioners to help you perfect the art of closing arguments.

You will learn how to:

  • Effectively prepare your closing argument
  • Know when to adjust your closing argument to accommodate surprises
  • Use inferences and adverse inferences in your favour
  • Perfect the art of rhetoric and helpful techniques of argument
  • Deal with bad facts, avoid splitting your case, and more

Workshop Details | Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, 11 a.m to 2:30 p.m. (MT)

Participants of the plenary session are also eligible to join us for our hands-on skills workshop, which will be held fully remotely in an exciting new format. The workshop is your chance to practise and refine your closing argument skills in a safe and supportive environment. You will be asked to prepare and record a slice of a closing argument on video and submit it to our instructors in advance of the workshop. During the live workshop, you will receive individualized feedback on your recorded performance. You will then be given an opportunity to incorporate the feedback into your closing argument and deliver it a second time in your small group. Our trained instructors will also provide you with additional feedback on your live performance.

Please note that the workshop requires advance preparation based on a mock case file, which will be provided to you in advance of the workshop. Please ensure that you set aside enough time to prepare for the workshop, which may take up to a half-day to prepare for, depending on your level of experience.

Registration includes electronic materials, which will be provided prior to the program. Registration also includes access to the live webcast recording for 30 days from the date of the program.

*Due to current concerns with COVID-19, this program will be offered via webcast only.