A lawyer who apparently has little clue about the bounds of proper opening statement was rebuked by a trial judge, and that was affirmed a week ago by the Utah Court of Appeals. (Along with a variety of other trial court rulings.)

Anderson v. Larry H. Miller Communications, 2015 UT App 134, ¶ 6, ____ P.3d _______ (May 29, 2015). This was an employment case with fraud allegations. In opening statement, plaintiff’s counsel was interrupted by the trial court (Lee Dever) at least three times, once on objection from defense counsel and twice on its own.

Take a look at the decision to get a flavor for what is considered “argument” versus “statement.” It’s also an interesting example of a trial judge– admittedly, an aggressive one in controlling his courtroom– stepping in uninvited to foreclose improper argument. (Something many judges are reluctant to do.)