(a) Before any evidence is offered, an attorney for each plaintiff having a separate right, and an attorney for each defendant having a separate right, may make an opening statement. At the close of all the evidence on the issues tried, an attorney for each such party may make a closing statement in inverse order to opening statements.

Terms Used In N.Y. Civil Practice Law and Rules R4016

  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.

(b) In any action to recover damages for personal injuries or wrongful death, the attorney for a party shall be permitted to make reference, during closing statement, to a specific dollar amount that the attorney believes to be appropriate compensation for any element of damage that is sought to be recovered in the action. In the event that an attorney makes such a reference in an action being tried by a jury, the court shall, upon the request of any party, during the court’s instructions to the jury at the conclusion of all closing statements, instruct the jury that:

(1) the attorney’s reference to such specific dollar amount is permitted as argument;

(2) the attorney’s reference to a specific dollar amount is not evidence and should not be considered by the jury as evidence; and

(3) the determination of damages is solely for the jury to decide.