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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
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Under california law, specifically orange county can a

Customer Question

under california law, specifically orange county can a defendant acting as he own attorney be denied a summation, ie; under tennesee law, ref; Scopes versus Bryant, 1925 monkey trial if one side declines summation the other side cannot give summation.?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 9 months ago.

Hello

This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.
Every party in a civil or criminal jury trial has a right to give a closing argument.

It is a fundamental part of the due process right to be heard. Most states have a statute that reads something like this:

Scope of argument. At the close of the evidence, the respective parties, or their counsel, shall be entitled to sum up the facts to the jury. In their addresses to the jury they shall be allowed ample scope and latitude for argument upon, and illustration of any and all facts involved in the cause, and the evidence tending either to prove or disprove the same. They shall not be forbidden to argue the law of the case to the jury, but shall not assume to instruct the jury upon the law in such a manner as to encroach upon the function of the court to so instruct the jury

See, e.g., Herring v. New York, 422 U.S. 853 (1975) (criminal defendant has sixth amendment right to give closing argument); Speer v. Barry, 503 A.2d 409, 411 (Pa. Super. 1985) (civil litigant has right to argue)